Can Good Intentions Hurt You?
Do you constantly feel the need to help? Do you give too much and spend too much of your time on a situation that could easily work itself out? Do you tend to offer your feedback and advice even when not asked for? A compulsive helper is sometimes referred to as a “rescuer” and can be an extremely draining role to play throughout a lifetime. Wanting to help others is a generous characteristic to have, but it can lead to extreme behaviors if not managed appropriately.
If you constantly feel the need to rescue someone, fix problems and provide aid to everyone around you, you may be a compulsive helper. It is important to remember that people do not always want to be helped or fixed. While it is great that we have helpers in the world, there is a fine line between helping and helping too much.
Compulsive helpers should not be criticized, but rather take a look into how they help and consider that they might have to take a step back from trying to “save” everyone. A rescuer and compulsive helper tend to never be satisfied with how they help and push the limit with their actions. This personality trait can become dangerous in the long run because the ‘helper’ neglects their personal needs and can end up burning out completely. They may feel used, dissatisfied and lost when they don’t get the outcome they wished for. It is very important that the chronic helper gives help when needed and does not overstep boundaries for their own self desires to feel accepted and to have purpose.
Are you a healthy helper or compulsive? Check the characteristics of rescuers (compulsive helpers) and a healthy helper below to find out.
A Healthy Helper:
• Presents help when asked for.
• Checks in every now and then with an individual needing help.
• Checks the results of their help. Did it help to allow the person to meet their goals, function appropriately, make decisions and use your ideas in a successful manner?
• Waits for a help request before taking action.
The Compulsive Helper:
• Gives help when not requested.
• Offers their “two cents” on every situation.
• Oversteps boundaries and tries to “fix” an individual overnight.
• Ignores the fact that help was not asked for.
• Does not welcome feedback on their helping skills.
• Spends too much time on helping another individual and neglects their own personal needs.
• Takes over the conversation when someone expresses the need for help.
Any relationship that has a compulsive helper on board may result in loss of confidence in both parties. If you feel you may be helping too much in your life, it might be a good time to sit back and find a healthier approach to helping others. Helpers and people of good intentions are extremely important in this world, but it is best to set some boundaries.