I Can't Help Someone Not Willing to Help Themselves

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Recently, I was presented with an opportunity to teach a failing high school student evidence-based study techniques, and how to implement them into their life.

I used to be such a student. I was mediocre at best. I eventually fought my way up to pharmacy school, and managed to top score my final year classes, and held the title of Dean's List for some years.

I was elated I could help someone in my previous position to improve themselves and achieve the results they want.

So I went ahead and had a brief discussion with them, sharing the science behind study techniques.

And they rejected it entirely.

They asserted that they found their existing study method (of reading and re-reading) being effective, despite this being one of the least effective/efficient study methods in existence for a high proportion of students.

They blamed something else instead of taking control of their life.

They blamed their poor language skills for being the core problem with all subjects.

And proceeded to do nothing in particular to improve their language skills.

I can't help someone not willing to help themselves.

I can offer all the results from scientific research and proven techniques. I can share my own success story. I can offer suggestions to how to implement these into their life.

But it doesn't matter if they aren't willing to listen and implement them, and instead blame other factors instead of taking responsibility for their own life.

Perhaps my next challenge now is:

  • How can I get a student to take responsibility and assert control over controllable aspects of their life?


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