On Helping Others

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It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.

I like helping people out. The amazing thing about helping other people is that you help yourself as well. Sometimes you find yourself doing something you ordinarily would’ve not done, because you were too shy or scared or unconfident; but when you help someone it brings out a hidden part of you. Plus, you learn a lot, in addition to character building.

However, rather than being a post on the virtues of helping others out, I started this to be a little observation (and a little anger/frustration/upset) on how people react when they’re being helped, or being offered help.

In my experience, I’ve found three kinds of people:

  1. The ones who need help the most, but will never ask for it (for various reasons I’ll explain after);
  2. The ones who want help, but will never work for it; and,
  3. The ones who refuse to accept help.

The first category of people are a mixture of polar opposites. On one end you have the ones who’re too modest/shy to ask for help, for the worry of burdening others with their problems, and on the other you have the kind that is too proud to ever ask for it for fear of being considered ‘weak’ or ‘dependent’. These kind of people are usually (for me) the ones who need to be helped the most (the proud ones a little less so). The latter kind need to be shown that asking for help is never a sign of weakness, but an acceptance of self and the fact that nobody is perfect.

The second kind of people I dislike the most, not because they are lazy, but because they are usually manipulative and opportunistic, exploiting your tendency to help to meet their own ends without actually partaking in the helping process. On top of that, calling their actions (or lack thereof) out puts them on the offensive, making the helper/volunteer the offender and them the victim. Though, I guess not all people of this category are actually manipulative and opportunistic, they just expect help because it is expected of you. (It’s no fun being the ‘go to’ person in this case, because you gain nothing from helping them, and lose everything when you refuse. Frying pan or the fire?) Such people need a straight ‘no’.

The third ones make me the happiest and the most frustrated. They don’t want help at all, refusing even when you insist on helping (perhaps even rudely so). But that’s just the initial stage, and then towards the deadline they all flock to you, wanting you to be the anonymous superhero that’ll save the day for them (you have to be invisible, though). And being the nice person that you are, you take on the mantle of responsibility and all of a sudden your calm ocean of a life is rolling and pitching around on the rocks.

Nonetheless, each type has taught me something or the other. That’s why I said helping others is a character building experience. You get hurt by some, but it only makes you stronger and better.

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