Helping people can be tricky. It can feel rewarding and exhilarating or overbearing and exhausting, at times, depending on how one handles giving help. Everyone may not agree on the topic of giving or receiving help. Have you ever felt like you do not know what to do anymore concerning what comes naturally to you — helping people? If not, perhaps helping others is not a priority to you or you may feel like you are not able to help others. Some people may not need your help but can make good use of it and some people may need your help, but do not feel comfortable asking for it.
Someone’s ego and pride may make them feel resentful that they need help causing them to lash out at the helper (which is not okay) or a helper may even find themselves on edge, at times, wondering if they should even help at all without jeopardizing their mental and physical well-being, a friendship, or relationship with those they wish to help.
Are you on the verge of giving up on helping others? Have you experienced others feeling entitled to, unappreciative, and ungrateful for your help? Some people may feel or have felt this way at one time in their lives. Whether the people in need of help are family, friends, or strangers, it all seems to boil down to the same thing. Almost everyone at some point in their lives may need help. Here, we'll discuss various aspects when it comes to helping people.
The famous saying that givers never lack has become of little to no value to some people. They may feel discouraged and like they rarely get it right when they try to offer help. So, is there a right way to help? Perhaps there is. If wisdom and discernment are applied, maybe giving can drain people less (mentally and emotionally) and cause them less pain. Bear in mind that helpers are people too.
Helpers may feel a moral obligation to help others they empathize with who are in pain or need, not to the point of co-dependency, though. That’s another topic. It can be ethical and considerate to not take advantage of helpers and take the time to help a helper out by learning and doing one’s part to help oneself. That is one of the greatest rewards that helpers can get; when they see that their help has sparked a fire in someone to take the bull by the horns, learn to help themselves, and pay help forward if possible.
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So, should helpers get a reward for the good they do? The answer to this question is subject to each individual. Here are some common thoughts about whether a helper should get payback or not.
Many people think they should be paid back when they help others. A reasonable number of people believe that a helper should go on helping as much as they can without looking back, that helpers should give unto others because they know they are capable. And perhaps there is a faction that says, “You know what? Just help when you can and hope for the best”.
If helpers should eventually get rewards for their deeds, in what form should it come? The reward for helpers can be emotional, materialistic, or otherwise. And of course, genuine helpers should not demand they get something back, but keep in mind that they may need help at some point in life too.
Rewards — Material or Not
Helpers may not need help to be given back to them at all. However, it could come, and it does not hurt to receive from someone who is genuinely appreciative. There is no limit to what a helper can get from helping others, from budget to extravagant. It all depends on how much the help is meant to whoever is giving back.
Some people are genuinely grateful for the help, but they cannot afford anything material to give back. Hence, they want to pay back in kind. Some helpers may want a payback not because they need it but as a sign of appreciation.
It can be wise to be clear and upfront when helping others. One can say, “Don’t worry about paying me back”, “Just pay it back or a little something back”, “Make sure you help someone else out”, or they may not say anything at all about getting paid back – And, leave it up to you if you will pay them back or not. To some people, helping others in hopes of expecting something in return may seem disingenuous and not a healthy way to give.
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The Reward Is In The Act
The joys of a helper could be hidden from the eyes, and blessings can come, but happiness and fulfillment might be a reward for people who genuinely help others. This does not rule out that they could get rewards in-kind or material for the assistance given. The joy that one is adding value to other people's lives could bring about satisfaction and internal harmony, which the giver sees as a reward. Some folks may believe that there is no such thing as a truly altruistic act where the giver gets nothing from giving whether it is non-materialistic or materialistic. They may claim that the helper gets something out of the act of helping even if it makes them feel good.
Paying It Forward
Rather than exhibit a show of materialism, helpers may not need the help offered back to them, but they want their actions to be paid forward. Genuine helpers want to help everyone out there that needs it, but it's almost impossible. Hence, they hope that the people they help would exhibit compounding acts of help and continue the good deeds with other people.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours?” Well, reciprocity means to agree to exchange similar things with others for mutual benefit. How does reciprocity come into play when helpers need help?
While genuinely giving help while expecting nothing in return, it also helps to consider that it can feel good to helpers to know that someone will be there for them if they are in need or just in offering them help (even if they don’t need it). A helper’s need of help may or may not even be monetary. It can be an emotional boost, hug, smile, support, or genuine offer of help with something they can use or need.
Some folks may argue that genuinely helping others comes with no strings attached and that may be true. However, consider that reciprocity in some shape, form, or fashion can encourage respect, balance, harmony, and growth in a relationship and between people in the world.
The Helpers' Dilemma
Helpers can feel unappreciated when their good acts turn out to be a poor choice or when people place a tag on them as “overly helpful”. This could cause helpers to become discouraged or resentful of helping others if they feel unappreciated or violated by ungrateful receivers. It can be a fine line and balancing act to help others while not allowing oneself to be taken advantage of or disrespected. Believe it or not, there are some folks who may believe that because they are in a vulnerable position and in need of help, they have a license to mistreat others and the helpers should simply understand that they are not in a good place, emotionally.
It is not okay to violate helpers and others because you need help and it’s not okay for helpers to kick people when they’re down and make them feel inferior because they need help. There is a difference between giving "tough" love and maliciously abusing people when claiming to help them. Helpers can feel used, abused, or manipulated too. Some people want to take advantage of helpful people to rip them off. However, the user, manipulator, or malicious receiver of help may place the helper in an uncomfortable position and risk getting their future requests for help politely and tactfully declined by the helper.
Some Of The Kind Of People A Helper Should Watch Out For
A taker is anyone on the receiving end of an act of help. However, there are different kinds of takers that a giver may interact with. Just as there is that person who can give back lavishly or in-kind depending on what they can afford, there are those a helper should watch out for who feel no remorse or shame in constantly taking. Mentally, a helper can derive immense benefits but helping particular types of takers can have adverse effects. Here are some of them:
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These people would make a helper believe that they need help when they do not need any. They are manipulators who only want to get what you have due to lack, greed, or sport. They may get off on conning people simply because they can or want to see if they can get away with it. Either way, they do not go about things the right way and they can cause people massive social, emotional, and financial damage. Con artists can have a story and explanation for all questions and doubts you come up with to refute their claims that may sound believable. Be willing to research what a con artist says to you and look beyond the surface of what can be false stories and empty promises.
Opportunists are people who want to gain any advantage or opportunity at any cost. They would go against good moral conduct and ethics to get what they want. You might be able to spot an opportunist when they are too eager for help, rather than hope for the best with what you can do for them. Opportunists can leave a person feeling guilty after doing a good deed. Opportunists may have no boundaries on who they hurt and how far they will go to get what they want. They are into spotting gullible or naïve people who blindly trust to see what they can get out of them. Be aware of pushy and shady folks who look for any way in to take advantage of your help.
Narcissists are people who have their sense of importance blown out of proportion. One might wonder how this person has anything to do with being avoided by a helper. Where the narcissist comes in is with their sense of entitlement, they could be shameless, non-remorseful, and malicious takers. They feed off the weaknesses of others. Hence, other aspects of their behavior can do a number on a helper's mentality. A narcissist can be demeaning and far from empathic. Cut them off immediately or you may find yourself figuratively or literally bleeding out after being caught in their tangled weaved webs made of steel barbed wire.
How To Deal With These
When a helper knows the sorts of people they cannot be helpful to, they can apply wisdom and discernment in their dealings so that they do not fall into the “helper's booby trap”. This is when someone always feels obligated to help others without setting boundaries for the type and amount of help you give and who you decide to help or not help. The best overall message for dealing with con artists, opportunists, and narcissists is - Run and don’t look back as soon as you’re onto them! Unless of course, you can bring them to their knees and beat them at their own game (just joking).
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When Helpers Need Help, Then What?
Helpers may need help too. But they do not need to go about reminding their beneficiaries of the help they have rendered. Helpers can ask for help in an acceptable way that does not show pride in past deeds.
Although blessings can be bestowed upon helpers or some may believe in good and bad karma, it is possible that a genuine helper will not get help when they need it. If a helper does not get help in their time of need, what are the things they can do? Helpers can remain positive in the face of serious challenges, brainstorm their options to seek solutions, seek out advisors or experts, as well as keep in mind that “All help ain’t good help”. Receiving the wrong kind of help for anyone can come with negative consequences and bad intentions. So, it is imperative for helpers and others to tread carefully before assuming that everyone who offers help has good intentions. Some folks may only help others who have common affiliations or only help strangers as a false covering. It can be wise to seek expert opinions and real-life advice or opinions from elders who have relevant and real-life experience that may be helpful.
A helper can be creative with how they reason that they are not entitled to help because they have helped. That mode of thinking will assist a helper to stay sane and positive about life when things are not smooth so they can go into a mentally peaceful state to seek creative solutions to their issues.
To pull off this method of approach about staying positive, a helper needs to be resilient. This is the ability to keep going and remain standing no matter how many times one falls down and to persevere in any situation they find themselves in.
They also need to be resourceful; use what they must help themselves or find solutions in ways that are uncommon or untapped. This could go on to mean that a helper should not go out of their way to help so that they are not stranded and should it seem they are stranded, they become adept at acquiring and using unconventional skills to find their way back to a good place in life.
Pray And Implement Faith And Works
Some helpers may elect to pray and take their needs to their Higher Power. They adopt a spiritual or religious attitude of “All of my help comes from the Lord” and “The Lord helps those who help themselves” while still creating ways to work or continuing to work on their goals or resolving their issues. It is up to the individual if they decide to use this route or not.
Regardless of the situation, a genuine helper can continue to help others with good intentions and would not regret that they have helped others. They most likely will not be discouraged from helping others in the present or future even if they were faced with past negative circumstances and outcomes from helping. They just may even set some boundaries for themselves and the people they help moving forward.
Do Perpetual Helpers Even Exist?
Despite some of the negativity surrounding helping people, some people are still devoted to the cause of helping people. In fact, perhaps they have a vow to always help others no matter the challenges they will go through as a result. It may take a rare and special man or woman to adopt this attitude.
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Is There Such A Thing As Being Overly-Helpful?
Some people indeed tend to give much more help and show more generosity than others when they help others. However, they should not be made to feel guilt for good acts. The world can only become a better place when there are people passionate about helping people in it.
Therefore, the negativity associated with being “overly” should be discouraged. This negativity prevents other people from performing a good act of giving. It would be better to sit on the fence than to blacken the immeasurable works of another. However, helpers should deal wisely still so that their deeds do not tamper or interfere with their happiness, fulfillment, and life.
So, if you're a sucker for helping people, you cannot give up on being the sweet cheerful and most importantly, caring person because of the cons that come with it. But you can balance things out. It's bound to happen that people may disappoint and not acknowledge, appreciate, credit, and/or compensate you for the good you do. Rather, find what works for you. What works for you would be your shield against the side effects of being taken advantage of, used, conned, or manipulated. At the end of the day, what can work for you is how you genuinely go about helping others with a cheerful heart and in the capacity that you can, and that may be the sweet spot when helping people.
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Keep in mind that helpers are people too and a kind word, gentle and heartfelt gesture or smile, and genuine attempt to show appreciation (even if they do not expect anything back) can even go a long way in helping a helper. Whether or not you have a support system of family, friends, and loved ones, you are a lone forced-to-be-reckoned-with and get little to no help, are an empath and helper by nature, feel like you want to help but have nothing to give, or need or can use someone’s help, remember that we all live on this Earth together. We are connected and dependent on each other in one way or another and that interdependence can be handled with genuine love, caring, kindness, and consideration.