Published: 08th May 2021
Can you lend a helping hand? What you need to keep in mind before helping someone
What do you need to keep in mind before helping someone or being helped? The Coach shares important pointers right here and now
What happens when we con ourselves into thinking that we’re over capable, give into our sense of pride and reject help we truly need? Is it because we feel that someone is offering us help as they perceive us to be incapable? Or are they out to damage us by offering us help and then exploiting us in the long run? Did India make a mistake on these lines by declining help offered by the UN, which was undoubtedly necessary for our nation that has been crippled by the second wave of the pandemic? Hence, I thought it apt to discuss the concept of HELP, HELPING and BEING HELPED.
Helping others: My first mantra when it comes to helping others is to understand why we want to do so in the first place. I’m referring to having clear expectations even before doing the deed. We need to be clear with ourselves. Helping isn’t a bad thing at all, in fact this is what makes us humane, but if you want to avoid a negative experience as a result of doing something noble, here are my top mantras.
Be truly unconditional: It’s practically impossible by many to be unconditional as they are conditioned to be calculative, exploitative, manipulative or, plainly, just expect something in return. This is something that you need to avoid if you don’t want to be let down later and ruin the relationship. Hence, when I say help others out unconditionally, it has to satisfy three criteria:
A. Ensure that you’re not going to expend more than what you can afford when helping others out.
B. Do and be done with it. Once you’re done helping someone, forget it. Holding it over one’s head is nothing but being a bully and shows that your intent was to manipulate.
C. Have a clear boundary! Prioritise yourself first and then others. This is what I meant by being assertively selfish in my column last week. You can only be unconditional when you can spare what you have.
Being helped: The first exercise that I suggest people do when they need to seek help is to calm themselves. Giving into panic and approaching every third person whom you know might not work in your favour.
The next thing to do is to BE PREPARED FOR REJECTION. Yes! We need to be able to take it if people say no! What’s more important is to remember not to spoil the relationship just because someone said no. Rather, we need to be aware that every person’s situation is constantly changing and thank them for trying.
Lastly, in spite of how desperate the situation is, ask for help minus your ego but add some clarity. Be clear about how you can repay the favour and be cordial enough to thank them in the best way you can think of later. This avoids any misunderstandings and will prevent people from helping you today, but holding it over your head for the rest of your life.
Though I unconditionally do my best here, I have a confession to make. I have been through the darkest of times with many not helping me, I know how it hurts, how it feels on the other side. I take this opportunity to thank all those who did help me because of which I’m doing the same for others ten fold. Help others to magnify the good in humanity, if not for anything else.
Adarsh Benakappa Basavaraj