When people call on me for help, should I help them?
This is something that keeps popping up time and time again in my life recently. It’s a question I keep asking myself and which I need to keep re-assessing and practising to ensure that I approach these type of situations in the right way.
I am the sort of person that has the natural desire to help people. I don’t know what it is about the whole helping thing that attracts me to it but it seems to make me feel happy to know that I have helped someone out with whatever it may be. But what do I get back from this process?
I am NOT the sort of person who would only do something in order to get something back from someone else or for a personal gain BUT it keeps crossing my mind recently that maybe from time to time I have been a little bit of a doormat for others to happily stamp their muddy boots on and have neglected to think of what is also best for me.
I’m sure there will always be those types of people who don’t talk to you in months and then BAM, they come along and ask you for a ‘favour’, at which point you think to yourself ‘why me?!’ These are the people who I see as a mixed blessing of sorts because they have caused me to reconsider my approach to the whole ‘doing a favour’ situation and maybe doing myself a favour for once!
My recent reaction to these favour-askers has been to avoid replying to their requests for help for a while. But I know I can’t hide or run away from these scenarios any longer and need to set out a checklist of ways to deal with these energy-suckers.
When called for help in future, I need to consider:
- If these people are only suddenly interested in my very existence because they need help from a purely self-focused point of view
- If with the use of a bit of initiative, these people could probably help themselves instead
- If these people treat me with kindness and respect in general life
- If they are the type of person that will just disappear as soon as they have got what they needed
- If I even have enough time to help out
- If helping these people makes me feel good or I just do it to avoid upsetting them
- Whether I actually receive a thank-you that I feel is genuine (those two words are enough!)
I will keep adding to this list as I figure out what works best and as I improve my approaches towards this recurring dilemma that I face 🙂 It doesn’t mean that I am going to become a selfish and un-helpful person, it just means that I will consider my own personal needs, how others can affect my time and overall mood more than I realise, and that I will be able to offer my full attention and focus to those that I feel are truly worth helping! I think each time I encounter these situations then honestly really is going to be the best policy. I’m sure the people with genuine intentions will understand!
Any suggestions and personal approaches towards ‘help’ and how it is best used would be highly appreciated 🙂