5 thoughts on “The Blame Game: Dealing With A Help-Rejecting Complainer

  • February 18, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    This perfectly describes my ex-husband. This behavior kept him from having to work in therapy or take any responsibly for the difficulties we were having.

    • February 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm

      Yes, me too. Its the first time ive been able to read the exact description-how i wish id had an ‘explanation’ years ago instead of spending my life trying to help and deal with this person. However level and positive a person you start out its very hard to stay that way. It ended very badly. Lets help more people by realising it wasnt our fault.

  • April 12, 2014 at 6:42 am

    This behaviour is an infantile form of communication the person has unfortunately internalized a negative dissatisfied view from a parent (usually their mother).
    They end up superimposing it onto every aspect of their life.

    Its so frustrating and stressful to stay connected and engaged with someone with this type of habitual complaining behaviour but what they are actually trying to communicate is…”my mother didn’t love me”

  • February 8, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    What techniques should a therapist use? Never had heard the term until today but know someone who is in this exact situation and has been for a long time. They’re on disability for depression/anxiety and also are dealing with a lot of medical problems. No therapist has been able to help them and this might explain why…Friends also get frustrated and eventually leave and the ‘help rejecting complainer’ who really is a great, smart, nice person outside of these issues, is left holding the bag and worse than he started

  • December 20, 2017 at 10:10 am

    I’m so grateful for this website. I read regularly.
    I can relate very well to this topic. It’s a role I’ve lived and have been working on changing the last couple of years. I have to say, a person in this situation does not realize the effects their interactions are having on the relationships around them. Also, there is a good chance that they indeed have a lot to deal with….however, this learned behavior has contributed to their sense of aloneness. What I craved, and found most helpful was when the person I was speaking with would ASK me what kind of help I needed or would like… a small gesture that recognized what was important to me, and if they could just recognize any progress or communicate reassurance that they believed I could handle it would go a long way. My point here, is that often we TELL people what they SHOULD do. It is well intended, but in to this person, they pick up on a message that the other person is seeking to force a solution that works for them on us.
    An example of my point is an experience with my mother: when I was a young mother, I had bought a small house. And part of buying a small house is dreaming out loud to those around you. “I wish……” One of the things I wished for was have a tidied up garden in the front. One day my mother and grandmother took it upon themselves, when I was not home, to tear up an area in front of the house for a garden. It was not on my priority list at the time and I did not have the energy, funds, or time to complete it. Yet after that I was repeatedly asked why I wasn’t making the garden, and it was held as an example of how I “rejected” help.

    It’s a dynamic that I continue to work on. So please, before you decide that someone is one of these “rejectors” , help them be pro-active by asking them what they think would help….avoid telling them.


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *