Some people rely on your counsel so heavily that it is difficult to know when to walk away and let them save or ruin their own life as they see fit. Well, it isn't difficult to know. It isn't difficult to see that the situation has almost certainly reached the point when you shouldn't attempt to do more. It isn't even that difficult to do, to keep silent, even avoid contact. Only, it's difficult to surrender your sense of responsibility.
And it is very easy to be selfish, thinking that you're being altruistic. It is easy for me to be selfish, to be sentimental, even dictatorial, fooling myself that I am doing good. Because naturally, I think I know better than anyone else. I think I know what the people I love want, what the people I love need and the difference between the two. But I may be wrong and even if I'm not, it's not my place.
Yet among my hidden talents, I know which strings require a gentle tug, I know the most tender points upon which to apply pressure, I know how to steer a person in a given direction and think it was their idea. With some people, of course, not everyone. The same applies to all bullies, of course; even the greatest tyrants can only win a relatively small proportion of the population over, which is why they generally have to kill lots of people and keep the unpersuaded majority living in fear.
Only, I'm not a bully, because I have no stomach for it. I try not surround myself with people I can play, because I become responsible for them. You save a life and you become responsible for that life - that's bollocks, actually, it wouldn't be at all fair. However, it is something I feel if I have any power over a person at all. And deep down, I know that I don't know better than anyone else. I don't know what the people I love want, or what the people I want need or the difference between the two. And choosing not to intervene is an act with consequences.
Allowing a person save or ruin their own life as they see fit makes me at least partly responsible for an outcome I don't have any control over. Which sits very heavily on my shoulders.