ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Helping Too Much- Helping Addiction

Updated on March 31, 2015

Give a man a fish and he eats for a day

Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime

-Chinese Proverb

Helping Addiction

Most people want to help people, to be seen as helpful, and to do good things. Good intentions are not enough. We need to understand our reasons why we are helping someone and we need to understand the effect of our actions. When we help others, we need to ask ourselves—are our “helping” actions truly helping the other person?

We may realize we have a Helping Addiction when despite the evidence that our “helping” is not truly helping the other person, we are compelled to continue to try to help them.

Signs we have a helping addiction:

  1. You realize your efforts to help someone are not changing the other person’s life for the better and you continue to attempt to help.
  2.  You feel compelled to repeated pick up the pieces for someone who calls you when they are in an emergency.
  3. You notice people you are attempting to help consistently are unable to manage their time, resources and energy
  4. You notice a person or the people you are attempting to help become increasingly demanding of your help.
  5. You feel guilty when you are not the person to help someone—even if they receive help from someone else who is more qualified to help.

If we are addicted to helping others, we need help ourselves.

We aren’t helping anyone and we are hurting ourselves if we are "helping" someone too much. Helping ourselves is a matter of getting in touch with our thoughts and feelings associated with helping others. Do you want to rescue others? Does it hurt you to see others in pain and helping others relieves the sympathy pain you feel? Do you help to feel needed or fulfill something within yourself? Do you want others to view you as helpful? Is it more important to have a helpful image than to truly benefit another? What am I getting out of this unhealthy dynamic of rescuing, enabling, or encouraging something not helpful for me or the other person?

The reasons why we help others can be endless. After reading this, you may get the impression that it’s not good to help others. That is simply not true. It is good to help others, it is not good to rescue others or create a dependence with another person.

So how can we help others in a healthy way?

The key to helping in a healthy way is setting boundaries or setting limits. Understand what you are able to do for someone, what they can do or start to do for themselves and set up the “rules of helping” early and continue to reinforce it. It is not about pleasing or attempting to not disappoint someone else. It is about protecting yourself and empowering the other person. When helping, your main goal should be to help someone help themselves and become a stronger, more independent person in the future. The support/assistance you provide needs to become the inspiration that compels the person to adopt their own plan to manage their lives and create their success. Supporting another person can include exchange assisting each other with tasks or running errands, teaching someone how to do something, being a sounding board—listening without problem solving, problem solving—i.e. brainstorming, provide information from your expertise and/or experience, provide a second set of hands, etc.

The hardest part is once you realize your assistance is doing more harm than good, you will need to stop. There will be times when not doing is the most helpful thing you can you do.


Submit a Comment

No comments yet.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)