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Life Lessons: Don’t help if someone doesn’t want your help.

Life Lessons: Don’t help if someone doesn’t want your help.

Do you know something like overhelping people? I do. I have been doing it for years. I haven’t been asking people if they needed my help. If they needed my help. If my help was actually going to help them.

I just wanted to help.

I wanted to feel helpful.

I didn’t want to feel helpless.

One day someone told me:

– But I don’t want your help.

What struck me was that someone may need help, but it doesn’t mean someone wants my help. Or someone may not want any help at all.

Shall I insist? Shall I convince someone to accept my help? Shall I try over and over?

Absolutely not.

I cannot force someone to let me help. My help may not the one which is needed. I may not see the full picture of the situation.

This week I tried to help someone without being asked. Why did I do so? Because I didn’t want this person to think I don’t care. What was the reaction?

– Leave it. I’ll do it on my own.

At first, I was pissed off. How rude is to react this way when someone tries to help! After a while, when things calmed down, I got it.

– You try too much. You want to make people happy, but they have their own idea of being happy – I was told.

On the other hand, helping people just for the sake of demonstrating or proving my personal value equals trying to help myself rather than other people.

It’s like with people who go for missionary activities or philanthropic events. The objective is not always to help people in need. It’s just to make yourself feel better.

That’s why it’s easier to give a few cents to a homeless person begging on the street than to understand how this person fell into this place. It happens we want to get rid of the problems instead of going for the core understanding and bringing real help.

Instead of giving a fish, you may teach how to fish.

All I’ve got in my life was not because someone gave me a fish. All I’ve got was because someone took the time to teach me how to fish. This is because someone took the time to assist me with my first fishing. This is because someone left me so that I could fish on my own.

I cannot recall any single situation when someone tried to help me without my consent. But I can recall dozens of situations when I tried to help without someone’s consent.

Because I thought I knew better. Because I thought I lived better. Because I thought I was better.

Helping is not about pushing through my vision of what is good for someone. Helping is about opening opportunities.



4 thoughts on “Life Lessons: Don’t help if someone doesn’t want your help.”

  • This rings very true to me.
    I try to help for various reason. Sometimes the people I am trying to help have no idea they need help in the first place. Of course, in such a situation, help will be rejected, and might even be considered offensive. I try to help, because I think me joining in would be more efficient. If I was to help, we could do the work in half the time and then have some fun. Yes, sometimes I think that I know better. I am too often reminded that people either aren’t ready for help, or want to do it all on their own. Weird. But I’m learning how to back off if I’m told no.

    • “I am too often reminded that people either aren’t ready for help, or want to do it all on their own” – OMG, it’s so true. I’ve been learning these two things for most of my life! Indeed, it sounded weird and I couldn’t understand it for a long time. It’s like with trying to convert someone to a specific religion or to help with finding a job. People might not be ready or they want to take baby steps in order to find their own way. I was used to imposing faster solutions and sometimes I still do it. But then I realize that everyone has its own time and place to do things. Even if it’s supposed to happen at the end of someone’s life. When I think about Jesus, He’s been never helping people who didn’t ask Him for help. He was not forcing people to be cured or to believe. People were coming to Him when they were ready. “Who has ears, let him hear”.

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