Is help always helpful or does it become quite the opposite of what you need?
Most people think that they know how to help and like doing just that. In my experience, however, there are a lot of cases that I wish I was not helped at all or helped in a different way. All these counsellors, advisors, experts (so-called, mind you) may have no idea of what I really need and it takes years of trusting only to find out later that I knew better all along, but did not trust my own guts (intuition). Can you relate?
I can totally relate. I'm left-handed and people sometimes watch what I'm doing and it must seem odd to them. (Even I look at President Obama and despite the fact that he is "one of my own," his left-handed orientation seems always noticeable.) I think my left-handed approach is why people try to help me sometimes - that and the fact that I now have wrinkles! When you get older, people assume you can't lift your own groceries, etc. etc. That makes me grab the 10 lb. bag of potatoes, sling it over my shoulder, and walk like a sprinter out of the store, just to show I'm not decrepit.
Adults who were first-born children, I have come to realize, are the WORST! They assume everyone is their little brother or sister and they know how to do it better and faster. My husband is a first-born and he watches what I do (all well intentioned, mind you) and wait to catch in mid-air, whatever it is that he's sure will fall out of my hands or off of a counter where I left it precariously balancing (but knowing exactly what I was doing). Drives me CRAZY. As for counselors, etc. I tend to believe that everyone in the world knows better than I do. I think that's from my backwards approach to a right-handed world - (maybe), so I usually take their advice. Lately I've been able to tell people, "No, that doesn't work for me." However, don't walk into an emergency room telling them emphatically that you have a slipped disk when you don't really know what you have. They tend to believe you. (Opps).
Bottom line, it would be nice if more people let others try a task (especially older people) and assume they can handle it. I try to stick around in the background, in a store for example, if I suspect a person actually WILL need help. Then I'm there if he or she needs assistance. We have to assume more often that people WILL ASK if they need it. It's tempting for all of us to build our own self-esteem on others' needs and we really need to ANALYZE OUR MOTIVATION and discipline ourselves to resist helping for the wrong reasons.
I agree with so many points you've made. I have a people-people personality and I am a HELPER. Yet, I realize that helping is not as simple as it might seem. For example, a helped child is a helpless child. That is why I asked this question. Thanks!!
Kallini, Ha! I noticed this just got a "best answer" Very Cool! Thank you. Since I wrote this a while back, I'm not quite sure WHY I put that emergency room thing in Cheers to you. Always fun to see a best answer! Thank you.
Hi, Katy, I suppose, Who Waited - that's ironic! Yes, it's been a while.I was reading my old Q&As. I see a lot of things differently now - as far as telling someone the solution before or without knowing the problem - that's my parents. Call 911
Only (you) know what is right for (you).
The approach one should take is to listen to as many options as they think they need to and then pick the one that suits them best. We're looking for the "aha!" moment that resonates with us.
Help also means different things to different people. When some people ask for help they are looking for "guidance" while others are looking to be "rescued" or have someone do the heavy lifting for them. It's best if we are (clear) about the help we're looking for.
Oftentimes when our expectations do not coinside with the "type" of help we are offered we say it was useless. To be honest with you most people asking for "help" actually want another person to (do) the work for them.
Depending on the issue sometimes you are better off writing down all of your possible options and potential scenarios, researching how others solved a similar problem, and then go to bed. Very often you wake up with a decision.
I agree DashingScorpio. There are many times in life that we are the only ones who are aware of all the possible ripple effects of a choice and our instincts and choices are best for us. If it's not, we know what didn't work for future reference.
You have to decide what is best for you. The help you are seeking is someone that can lead you to the right conclusion. Therefore, they help by asking questions to determine the kind of help you want and in some cases need. I have been to counseling and the counselor let me talk. She asked questions to keep the conversation going. She would then sometimes offer a suggestion. I would often respond that will not work for me. She would ask me to explain why. Sometimes she agreed and sometimes she did not.
In another case, I went to a sleep clinic, because I had insomnia. The doctor determined it was nothing physical so he referred me to the in house counselor.
She told me to close the blinds at my office in the afternoon--stained glass windows and blinds that have not been lowered in 20 years and would not. She told me to have breakfast on my deck. I told her I had a carport and not a deck. She said to wear darker sunglasses when driving. i told her what I had was the darkest I could wear and still see. She was not going to be any help, so we parted company--I just quit going.
A person who can help is one who can listen. For you to receive help, you have to be completely honest about why you think you need help. If the person you asked is not trained or has the necessary expertise, she should refer you to someone else. Friends, no matter how close or well meaning, are not always the best sources for help. Your clergyman, if he has training in counseling might be helpful, but telling you to snap out of it and be thankful for what you have is not adequate.
First you either identify the problem and get the appropriate help or you find someone to help you determine what kind of help you need and then you seek out the proper person to help you.
I can definitely relate. Sometimes people are not able to hear what your problem is because they are mentally stuck in their own past experiences. So they offer advice or guidance that might have worked for them in the past but is not appropriate to you or your situation. I think you have to trust your own gut. If someone is telling you something that just doesn't feel right then it most likely isn't right. Hopefully if that person is a "professional" helper (doctor, religious leader, counsellor, teacher, etc...) they will be open to you saying - that doesn't feel right to me.
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