We all have this strong desire to help other people. I think it’s inborn within us, a sort of help the society type of need. So it figures that when people need our help, we are ready and willing to give it to them. I like to think of myself as someone who will help anyone out anytime they need it, and I think that doing that is a very valiant thing.
There is, however, a darker side to helping others. There are actually cases when helping other people can hinder their growth. I’m not saying that any time you lend a pal a helping hand you are hindering them, not by any means. What I am saying is that when you become a perpetual helper, you are actually becoming a crutch and preventing that person from growing into who they can be.
In my own life I think sometimes I work too hard to help others because I don’t want them to go through the same things I did or experience setbacks. But now I’m beginning to learn that perhaps the best way to “help” some people is to let them go there own way and do what they want to do.
One of my teachers I had when I was attending Bible College had a quote he loved to say all the time. He made us say it almost every time we had class.
I am not God Jr.
Sounds comical, I know. But there is a deeper meaning to it. We can’t possibly devote enough time to truly solve other people’s problems. We aren’t omnipresent or omniscient, we’re just people too! So, it’s not that we don’t want to help people, it’s that sometimes we’re incapable of offering them the help they need.
So what does this mean? What am I suggesting you do? Well, I’m not suggesting you stop having friends that are needy. I’m simply saying that you need to determine how much time you can afford to spend on them and also if the time you devote to them is truly helping them or not.
The best way to learn to walk is to fall down and get back up. Same thing with learning to ride a bike. That’s how we humans learn. We experience things and modify our behavior. Some of us lucky ones learn by education, but unfortunately not everyone wants to go that route.
So when you find yourself dealing with a person that takes up a lot of your time, don’t let guilt keep you tied to that person. If you’re operating out of guilt, you aren’t in the right mindset anyway. Next, determine if maybe that person doesn’t need to stand on his own, to figure out things for himself.
Too many times we think we can save the world, when in reality we can’t. It sounds sad, I know and trust me because I still want to changed the world, I just know now more than ever that you can’t change people’s behavior. Just ask those women that tried to change their boyfriends or husbands.
Change can happen, but it must come from within the person who wants to make the change. So, if you are up for the challenge of helping someone, focus on that instead. Don’t tell them to change. Inspire within them the desire to change by allowing them to experience the rewards of making their change. You can do this by living these experiences out in your own life.
For example, if you want someone to quit smoking, don’t try to force them to quit. Instead, don’t feed their addiction by being a part of it. Show them that it’s not fun to go outside by themselves during a party to have a cigarette by staying inside and having a good time.
If someone is addicted to food, find a way to have fun without there being any food involved. Go do something totally off the wall.
Just remember, if you help some people too much, they will begin to expect you to be there for them. From this stage, they will then begin to demand your time, after this, they will neglect your feelings and needs and expect you only to talk about them when you’re together. Finally, they will blow up when you can’t be there for them at all times. This path is inevitable, because you can’t be someone’s “savior” forever. You will grow tired of it.
I hope this article hasn’t come across as too negative. Serving others is a very important thing to do, and if you haven’t been, I suggest you start as soon as possible. I’m just stressing in this piece that you shouldn’t let any relationship be defined as a “me helping you” relationship.
Look for my podcasts to start real soon… And don’t forget to check out the 6M Profit Method.