What Should We Expect in Return?

I was asked a question recently about what to do or say to a person who you have taken the time to listen to and help, and in return they dismiss you when you want to talk with them about your problem.

When we offer help to another we do so without expectations, at least that's what we should be doing it for. We want to help so we do and we receive the benefit of knowing that we helped someone through altruism, we have grown ourselves, and we have socialised a problem.

It is only natural for us to need help ourselves from time to time. Asking for help is usually a last resort for most of us, more so if it is something personal and/or emotional. The secret (if there is one) is to find the right person to ask for help.

If you are asking the same person for help that you helped and they reject your approach, then that person is not the right one to ask. We may think that this person is being selfish, possibly the case. Most often though it is because that person is still struggling with their own issues and can't take any additional problems to ponder. They are already overwhelmed.

If you feel that this is the right person to help you then you could ask them directly, "Is there a reason that you can’t help me, I came to you because I thought that you could." Or perhaps “I’d be interested in your thoughts about a problem I have”. Your brain will tell you to remind them that they owe you for helping them, resist that temptation. In their heart they will know that already and reminding them we make them feel worse still.

Altruism and humility are things that I am learning more about as I research the benefits of socialisation. Those who have faith already know this message, Matthew 23:12. Look around at great people in history – Martin Luther King Jr, Frederick Douglass, Thomas Edison, Mother Teresa, and Abraham Lincoln to name a few. All were humble people in their own way, they gave of themselves to help others and needed nothing in return. They did not expect recognition or reward.

In short, if you help someone who is struggling with an issue and they reject you when you need help, go to someone else. Going back to the same person and have them ignore of reject you will only add to your own problems.

It’s about learning from the past, being in the moment, and always moving forward. In my humble opinion of course.