Many of us have someone we care about who struggles with life or hurts themselves with bad decisions. Counselors face a similar challenge in the profession of helping people.
We want to help them find a solution to their problem. All of us can easily slip into owning more responsibility for the problem than is helpful and doing too much.
It makes us wonderfully human to have care and compassion for others. It's not helpful when it goes too far.
Many lives contain traumatic stories, past or present. People do want to heal and move forward, so accusing them of not working hard enough is not helpful.
Believing they are alone, they want someone to depend on. When they find someone who cares, they lean hard! They can be very needy.
We hear how special we are, how they don't know what they'd do without us, and how grateful they are for us. People who lean toward serving and pleasing others, eat that stuff up!
I don't believe it's intentional manipulation, but it's still manipulative.
The most loving thing we can do is let them own their problem.