Feeling Helpless in a Relationship or Situation

Written by: Rujusmita Selvan – M.Sc (Clinical Neuropsychology)
Last updated date : January 24, 2023

Sometimes you get into relationships despite knowing there is going to come a point when the regret will get real. Not because you don’t love the person, but because you love them a little too much for your own comfort. When the reality hits and you are feeling helpless in a relationship or feeling helpless in a situation. So, what happens next?

“Practical and insightful” David

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Chapter 1:

What Are the Signs You Are Feeling Helpless in a Relationship

Here are specific signs which might be showing that you are feeling helpless in a relationship or if you are feeling helpless in a situation

As a couple, you try to avoid bringing up difficult or potentially painful things in an attempt to not upset each other. This leads to avoiding deeper conversations and may leave both people feeling lonely.

  • Your conversations are mostly focused on facts, events from the past.
  • You and your partner often misread each other’s feelings and actions and assume negative intentions from the other person.
  • If you seek comfort from your partner, you do not receive the understanding you were looking for.
  • It can be hard to find things to talk about together.
  • Arguments do not lead to understanding, they lead to more hurt and mistrust.
  • Emotions like love, warmth, or emotional bonding feel awkward and uncomfortable with your partner, and may only happen during sex.
  • It feels like you are both operating independently in the world, rather than a team taking on life together.
  • When you have exciting news or a problem comes up, your partner is not the first person you want to share this with.
  • You feel misunderstood and lonely in the relationship.

Chapter 2:

Why You Are Feeling Helpless in a Relationship?

Feeling helpless in a situation is not something that feels good. It feels inhuman. Feeling helpless in love is one of the most common feelings in the world. Usually, there are three very simple reasons for Feeling helpless in a relationship. Once you dispel them, you break out of this toxic cycle.

You might feel Angry

Another common reaction to helplessness is anger, and this usually occurs when our initial efforts are unappreciated. Anger is an addictive emotion. It feels good because it makes you feel in control. Your thinking becomes straightforward and simple: Defend. Attack. Repel.

  • Be upfront with your partner if you want emotional support or advice so your partner can gear up to offer you the best “help” that he or she can.
  • Do not act like you know how to better handle the situation. It is condescending and usually not an accurate reflection of the way you feel. Tell your partner that you are struggling with your inability to help, and ask your partner what he or she needs most from you right now.
  • Do not criticize your partner’s efforts to address the problem or his or her attempts to console or offer advice. Validate your partner’s experience, and express appreciation before asking for what you really need.
  • Differentiate your feelings from your partner’s. It sucks to feel helpless, and that is probably something your partner can relate to. The way to keep helplessness from controlling your behavior is to acknowledge that it is there and find other ways to promote empathy.
You prioritize the other person too much
You do not give yourself enough due to do the things that make you happy instead. For example, every time he wants Chinese, you order it diligently even if you’re in the mood for pizza. You bear his tantrums about meeting your friends over and over again, despite promising yourself it’s the last time. All of these situations arise because you feel like you are not in a position to break the other person’s heart. You are feeling helpless in a relationship.
You are dealing with really low self-esteem
There are chances of you having low self-esteem when you feel he is the only one who understands you. Even though deep down, you do not feel like he treats you right at all. It’s just conditioning and the habit of everyday things that are making you feel this way. This usually stems from the fact that you do not love yourself enough to break away from the routine. The fact that you are willing to take someone else’s fuckery as a part and parcel of your life is the ONLY anti-rule of self-love. This will make you feeling helpless in a relationship. You cannot be happy EVER if this is what you are willing to stand by.

Chapter 3:

7 Things to Do When You Are Feeling Helpless in a Relationship

Identify the source

If you are feeling helpless in a relationship like there is nothing you can do to change the situation, it can help to assess and evaluate the source of your feelings. Some questions you might ask:

  • Have you been coping with a great deal of stress lately?
  • Have you recently experienced trauma or setback?
  • Is something happening in the world that is outside of your control?
  • Have you been struggling with other symptoms such as low mood, sadness?

Understand why you might resist change When you are experiencing a difficult or negative emotion like helplessness, it can sometimes be helpful to look at some of the reasons you might be resisting feeling empowered. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you are necessarily choosing helplessness but it might be something that you resist changing because the alternative is frightening.

The important thing to remember is that changing your mindset can be hard, and it presents its own unique set of challenges. But it also opens up a new world of opportunity and rewards that are worth pursuing.

Focus on what you can control

When you spend too much time being sad over the things you cannot change, you are more likely to magnify feelings of helplessness. Focusing on those unchangeable things only leaves you feeling more defeated.

Giving attention to the things that you can control, however, can help you feel more capable. It provides a greater sense of agency and can give you the motivation and energy to work toward making a change.

Challenge your helpless feelings

Once you recognize feeling helpless in a relationship, it is time to start actively challenging and replacing them with more accurate, empowering ones.

This might involve looking for evidence that points to the opposite. For example, if you are feeling helpless in a relationship about trying to achieve a specific goal, think about times that you have accomplished something you set your mind to.

Look for evidence that disputes your helpless feelings. Think about situations that demonstrate your personal agency.

Remember your strengths

If you feel helpless, it can be beneficial to recognize your own unique talents, strengths, and abilities. Emphasizing these capabilities is a great way to gain more empowerment and motivation to tackle challenges you might be facing in different areas of your life.

Consider making a list of the things you are good at, and then think about how you might use those skills to tackle a problem. Rather than ruminate on your weaknesses, focus your time on appreciating and honing your strengths.

Chapter 4:

Call to Action

Bottom line, no one is ever helpless. We are bound by the invisible shackles of our own making. We feel that we can not get away from the other person, may be because we feel we might not be able to survive, or worse, that the other person won’t be able to take it. But believe me, life goes on. What one needs to do is, explain your position, do not humiliate them, but explain clearly and unambiguously that this relationship is suffocating you. and finally, do not yield to any amount of emotional blackmail. At Epsychonline we have a series of courses on a variety of topics, including perfectionism and bullying for teens. These courses are written keeping young people in mind, you might find value in them. Visit our Courses page to learn more.

"Practical and insightful" David

70 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount