Helping Soothe a Savage Beast

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
I have a really tough situation. I really really care about one of my guy friends. I want to be there for him and i want him to know that i care for him, but he pushes me away. He feels like he has to prove himself to people..his parents, friends, professors ect... and he stops at nothing to do this. He doesn't think he's good enough and he's always trying to be better when he is fine the way he is.

Now its almost like the grinch, his heart is cold and he needs love to warm it again. I want to be there for him and warm his heart, but he won't let me. How can i prove to him that i am here for him and want to care for him? What are some things I can do to help him...besides having him visit a therapist b/c he already does that. Advice
Well first, it sounds like it's a VERY good thing he's talking to someone he can trust, because he definitely seems like he is very full of anger. I want you to really think about something before I give suggestions. It is very, very natural for women to want to "help heal" a guy. The whole "playing mommy" thing. The whole "Nurse taking care of injured guy" thing. The whole "Beauty and the Beast" thing. Ever see Oliver? Remember how the nasty guy had the loyal girl, and she stayed with him even when he beat her up, because she felt she could make a difference? This is very, very common. And it is rarely successful. We women feel like if we pour our heart and soul into a guy, we can make him better. But the truth is that we can't *make* anyone do anything. The guy really has to want to BE different. And if he doesn't, then we sacrifice and give of ourselves and do our very best, and end up disillusioned, sad, and frustrated. Life is not a fairy tale. The dark, brooding guy doesn't look up and say "Oh! My princess! I understand now, my world is suddenly a gorgeous field of flowers." As much as we want it to :)

So be really, really sure that you are realistic here. You can't pull him into the light and "fix" him. He is the way he is for very serious reasons, and only HE can change himself to be something different. And it won't be easy for him either, it will be very hard for him to change. You can be a friend to *support* him ... but you can't *change* him.

OK, having said all of that, I am personally guilty at times of meeting the Beast and wanting to help out too :) So here are some suggestions.

* Go to theaters or rent DVDs for comedy movies. It is really amazing how watching a comedy can lighten your mood for the entire evening. Find something you both will enjoy and just laugh out loud.

* Go for a long walk. Many studies have proven how exercise releases hormones that naturally reduce stress and make things seem "better". It might help him unwind and talk about things too - and talking always makes things better too.

* Help him eat healthy. It is simply AMAZING how much your diet affects the way you feel. People who eat junk food and tons of sugar often don't realize just how better they would feel if they ate more healthily. Don't harp on his eating habits. Just eat more healthily yourself when he's around, and offer to share.

I have other tips here -

good luck!

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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