Friday, February 8, 2013
When To Help By Helping...
And When To Help By Not Helping.
I learned something about helping people a long time ago. I think it's a guideline from the Transactional Analysis people: If the person I am helping is doing less than half of what they could be doing to help themselves...it's very likely I'm being played. In other words if a guy is in a leaking boat and he's busy bailing out that boat and he asks me for help, I'm likely to help, and he's likely to be grateful for that help and put it to good use. But if he's sitting in that leaking boat, able-bodied but not doing anything but calling out for help, I'm likely to let him sink. For me, this is not an emotional decision, it's a practical one. I have a limited amount of time and energy and I've found that helping out the bailing guy is much more likely to result in good things than helping the not bailing guy. There are exceptions of course, but generally, this rule has worked well for me. After a while I could tell just by the way someone was asking for help whether or not they were helping themselves as much as they could and asking for some support, or they were just sucking energy because that's what they like to do. I like helping people who are already helping themselves but I think the others are better served by sinking on their own.