There are some heuristics that I’ll stand by until there’s any evidence at all that they’re wrong. One is that no one has ever thanked someone else for saving them. At least not in the metaphorical sense. My sister once gave a guy who had a heart attack and fell off a barn roof CPR until the ambulance showed up. He thanked her for saving his life, but other than clear cases of being rescued from imminent death? No one ever got thanked for trying to save someone.
The other relevant heuristic is that everyone gets to be the expert on themselves. If someone says “I need x, y, and z,” believe them. We know. Give the other guy some credit. Your friend with the bitch of a wife knows she’s a bitch. But he’s juggling a bunch of competing priorities and if he isn’t dealing with the fact that his wife is a bitch right now, it’s because other things are a bigger priority. You don’t get to decide for him. You listen until he asks for something. Your perspective is unwelcome until specifically invited. Anyway, you’ve got whatever it is going in your own life that your friends are all looking at you and sighing over. You know, Missy needs to loose twenty pounds. She knows that her Momma has type 2 diabetes and if she keeps on the path she’s on she’s gonna end up there too. It seems to be universally true that we all think we can live the other guy’s life to more success than they seem capable of.
So it’s generally better to celebrate the beauty you see in your friends and let the rest go. They’re the expert and they aren’t going to thank you for interfering.
Which is a problem. Because when you see someone standing in a hole, does lowering a ladder for them to take advantage of if they don’t like their hole anymore… when they haven’t asked for a ladder… does that count as the kind of saving that someone is never going to thank me for? Inquiring minds want to know.