If you want to ruin someone, deny them the right to help. Couples, friends, parents and children, make the mistake of “never needing help” or “not wanting to impose.” This can be extremely harmful to the relationship.
I was talking to a young man recently, who was overwhelmed with a sense of indebtedness to his parents for all they had done for him. He was frustrated and unhappy and his self-esteem was low. His loving parents had been quick and eager to meet his every need. They had done so much for him that he couldn’t imagine ever being able to repay them. This created an imbalance and, rather than bring the family closer together, made him want to distance himself.
The same often happens to couples. He or she refuses the other’s help: “I’ll do it myself” or “Don’t be a nag, I’ll schedule my own doctor’s appointment.” This person, inadvertently perhaps, robs his or her mate of their right to help.
Let’s take this to extremes:
Envision waking up one morning and feeling that no one needed your help–not even an animal or a plant; that you could do nothing to help anybody or anything. Wouldn’t that be horrible?
So when we deny somebody the ability to help, we give them a taste of that. And when the privilege of helping is taken away, so is the opportunity to be valuable.
Compare this to a time when you’ve helped someone successfully. Perhaps you nursed the person back to health or helped him or her get a job. You came to the rescue in time of need. How did that make you feel? Fulfilled, valuable, alive!
So next time someone offers you help remember that by allowing them to help you, you are helping them. You are helping them have purpose, feel whole, boost their self-respect, love the world or perhaps even redeem themselves.