Help Is A Two-Way Street

Image result for images of being helpful

Woodstock is a bird. Birds love rain! He probably didn’t ask Snoopy for help staying dry.

Help requires permission. A person needs to ask for the help they’d like to receive. A pet needs to allow help to be dispensed. If someone is not of sound mind, they still need to cooperate to receive assistance.

My sister had a recent encounter with a woman who offered her emotional help when she had no idea that there was a need. Basically, this woman projected her own desire to prove herself helpful by suggesting to my sister an unrecognized problem. You can imagine how this went over. Nothing feels better than someone pointing out a problem you didn’t know you had. The woman went on to explain that since she had reached the highest level of spirituality, being a Buddist, she was equipped to help.

To my mind, the highest level of spirituality is death. And I’ve never heard the Dalai Llama tell people how spiritually evolved he was so he that could better insert himself into a problem.

Help requires trust. Trust requires rapport. To build rapport, safety should be offered.

I’ve never easily asked for help. I was raised in a DIY mindset. But I’m learning. And I’m also learning not to shove my way into another’s mess when help was not requested. Sometimes people need to learn how to help themselves, which helps others mind their own business.

I came across this very topic early on my FB feed this morning. How helpful!

“Help is the sunny side of control.” Anne Lamott

If you’d like to listen to her 15 minute Ted Talk, it’s more about life than the writing title suggests.


1 thought on “Help Is A Two-Way Street”

  1. There are so many different ways “help” can unravel, interfere, offend and more! For example, as almost all parents do, I often flounder along the way as I learn how to parent my children at different ages and stages. But I also openly identify as a parent of an autistic child. And as an autism advocate, I share articles to read and so I receive just as many helpful ones from others. Perhaps I opened myself up to receiving well-meaning comments and advice. Maybe in this way, I asked for it and I can accept that.

    My problem is not the unwanted offer, it is the unwanted insistence that “help” is always good and helpful! More than once, I’ve found it necessary to explain that certain help is not wanted and some actions are not supportive. I can’t tolerate those that angrily take offense when their support is declined or even tweaked and adjusted. To fall victim to such umbrage is infuriating!

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