Daily sparkPassion 17 November 2017
4 reasons why you (sometimes) should stop helping people

I always thought helping people was the right thing to do. So it was a total shocker when my mom (aka the kindest person in the world) taught me to never give advice or help to anyone unless they explicitly ask you for it. Huh, wait, what? I didn’t really take her advice. I like helping people as an act of kindness. Actually, it made me feel good too. Helping others can be addictive, in some sort of strange way.

Years later, I started to realize she was right. I know it sounds strange at first. But think before you help. Helping is something beautiful, but it’s a weakness too, in many ways. We’re helping you out (ha!) by pointing out 4 situations that illustrate why you (sometimes) should stop helping people.

1. Listen, don’t help
The most ignorant people on earth? People who don’t listen. When a friend shares a personal story, make sure you listen. Don’t come up with well-intended solutions to fix the problem or unsolicited advice straight away. You can’t fix people. I know it’s hard, and yes, you sincerely want to help. But listening, in this case, is far more important. Listening is at the very heart of communication, but largely ignored by teaching others. When someone needs your help, they’ll ask.

2. Give everything, or give nothing
Helping someone out when you don’t have the time, skills or commitment does more harm than good. Can you really help that person out?

3. Brain-picking
Remember the days when people invited you over for coffee and started asking you what your ideas were on their new plans? And when you left, you totally had the feeling that they were picking your brain? I sincerely hope these days are over now. Knowledge is not for free. So stop helping people who do so and say no to pick your brain meeting requests. Or, as Warren Buffett puts it: ‘the difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say ‘no’ to almost everything.’

4. Only help people who really want help (and appreciate it) 
Ever realize some people don’t want your help? Some people don’t want you to help solve their problems. How easy your solution might be. The only person who can help them is themselves. So, save your energy instead of wasting it and think before you help and save time on drama (and make more time for yourself). Your help is valuable, but it’s not for everyone.

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8 comments

    Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any recommendations? Thanks!

    I definitely love your writing and your tips… But, when one of your friends have a problem (heart or whatever…), what can we do for help it ? Thanks !
    PS : I am French so my English is maybe not totally correct…
    Claire from https://claireaudrain@wordpress.com

    Thanks very much for this professional and sensible guide. I won’t think twice to recommend your web page to anyone who would like recommendations about this matter.

    This is something I’ve only start to learn this past year, but it’s so important. Helping should be good for both sides.

    God knows I know every single thing you are saying and I feel so relieved to see I’m not the only one who’s made this realization.

    Because of helping people inconditionally and out of kindness, I basically screw myself so many times. Most don’t appreciate it and others will see you are easy to take advantage of.

    Sharing a story: A now very well-known German blogger once asked me how I made so many followers on Instagram. Because she only had 3k followers at the time and she wore head-to-toe Chanel, I kinda felt sorry for her and told her EACH and EVERY ONE of my secrets (actually, she was not the only one who I told this to). Less than a year later she had followed all my advice and was very well known. As soon as she had more followers than me, she unfollowed me. There’s more to what she did, but moral of story: Be kind, but not stupid. Take your success secrets to the grave with you, if you want to continue being successful.

    Absolutely love it!

    Mireia from TGL
    https://thegoldlipstick.com/

    The first one! Sometimes people just want to be listened to and not actually to hear advice.

    Hannah | Wild At Heart

    I agree with point 3! And sometimes, it’s more helpful to point them in the right direction instead of giving them the answer outright. It helps the person in need learn in the long run! ❤

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

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