People who lay their problems in front of you with an expectation of your help, but they are not really asking you to help them. I am not talking about an emergency situation, or your best friend.
You get a phone call at three o'clock in the morning and it's John and he says, "Hey, old buddy, I am stuck at the airport and have no money for a taxi to get home."
Or he calls and says, "I have to move and don't have any help, and my car broke down."
Yet he is never there when you need a return favor.
When we give with the expectation of a return favor, it's not real giving. A true friend will be there through the good times and bad.
However, if we're feeling manipulated because we've been asked to do a favor then the relationship is not borne from real friendship...sometimes we may simply have to say no so we no longer enable the other person to continually take advantage. And that feeling of being manipulated is in fact telling us more about ourselves than the other person :)
answered 07 Apr '12, 06:56
If the question is how to handle the person who presents their problems without asking for help, then I would start there. When this person calls you up and presents their problem, but doesn't ask for help, you don't have to jump in and offer help. Make them ask. You can simply make sounds that express that you are listening like, "oh, mmm hmm," or simple words like, "I see," or you can ask questions like, "What are you going to do about that?" or even more directly, "Is there a reason you are telling me this, or are you just venting?" or "What is your purpose in telling me? Are you just wanting to vent, or are you asking me for help?" If they say they are asking for help, but then still don't ask, then say things like, "What is it that you are wanting me to do?
I have a friend/neighbor with developmental disabilities. I help her with stuff. She would call me and tell me her problem, and I would 'fix it'. Then, it dawned on me to not just jump in and offer solutions, make her ask, maybe she is just venting, etc... So I started asking her questions like I mentioned, and had her actually ask me if she wanted help. It is very new, so it's too early to notice if she will ask for help or not. She has actually become quite independant lately. I don't know if that's related or not. Hmm, maybe that's her way of refusing to ask, she just doesn't tell me her problems. Well, either way, they must be getting resolved without me. Or maybe by making her come up with a question to ask me, she is able to receive her own answer.
Asking for help is a difficult thing for some people, including me. There are very many reasons people have including fear of rejection, fear of being seen as week and needing help, etc... and sometimes people just don't know how. So when they find somebody who will help them without even having to be 'asked' then they have hit the jackpot. They get help and don't have to ask. This doesn't really help them in the long run. They learn to expect this from you and others and it hurst relationships. So by doing the above questioning of the friend, you might help them also to be able to ask for help, to recognize what they want and figure out how to get it.
Now about the return favor. First, when you help, help them expecting nothing in return. Then, if you do find yourself needing a favor, don't expect this friend to know it and pop up. Ask your friend for help. If they are consistantly unavailable, and you are feeling taken advantage of, then start saying, "No" when they present their problems.
Either way though, if you present the questions I mentioned already, it will help him to realize that he needs to ask for help, and he will be forced to think about the situation. Don't force him to ask and then say, "No" that would do more harm than good, it will not teach him to ask for help later. So start with the questions, and then help him to be aware of the extent of the one sidedness of the relationship.
Hi Dollar Bill
If you choose to ignore someone who has specifically chosen to reach out towards YOU for help, it will work against your inner desire to be a "good" person.
Your refusal may make you feel strong in that moment, and at the same time, you will be filled with guilt for not doing something about it.
IF you want to stop your participation in this event, you are focusing on the wrong end of the problem.
Your un-willing ness to refuse help to those who need it is not your problem.
In, fact shall we say that, that is what makes you a great friend and someone that others can count upon in times of need.
Now here is the paradox to this whole thing and see if you can follow this carefully.
To be a person that others can count upon in times of need is a great quality and you should not see that as a weak or bad quality.
This is something good.
TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF WITH THIS QUALITY is the problem.
Now that does not make any sense does it?
However, it does.
The key to this whole thing is SELF IDENTIFICATION.
It is a thing in your consciousness; let us say it is an "event" magnet.
Whatever characteristic you awaken within your consciousness as a "living event" or "dialog" magnetically attracts your participation in that "event"
Even if the identification is driven by our desire to be "good", the very act of identifying an event as part of your identity, you magnetically attract the events necessary to "confirm" your self-identification.
So If you see yourself as "I help everyone in need", in that moment, and every time you identify with that characteristic, you magnetize more and more events where you are drawn into helping others.
Most of the time, this positive identification IS NOT the dominant attractor in the events that we attract.
It is actually the exact opposite of that.
In this particular case, the attractor is clearly seen in your response to the comment from Fairy Princess.
In your answer, you said "This situation is something that has been bothering me for a while."
That and that alone is the dominant attractor in this event.
Ninety percent of the events that we participate in are attracted to us by the fact that we are "bothered" by them.
Everything that exists in your consciousness, especially as an "event" is an attractor.
In this case, the fact that this bothers you has allowed this "event" to come alive within your consciousness repeatedly through your wakeful moments allowing you to engage repeatedly in the "event" of being forced to help someone against your comfort zone.
Every time that "event" comes alive within you and causes the "bother" it is an emotional experience that is being given "birth" within the context of physical reality where YOU and this other person are participants within it.
With every re-play of that, "bother" that is coming alive within you, it is also coming alive within all of creation seeking physical expression.
But it needs your "power of faith" to move energy into an "event"
You faith in this event is measured by "how real" it is within you and if the moment in which it is brought "alive" is within the NOW moment.
You know how "real" an event by the "emotion" that is attached to the event when it comes "alive" within you.
If you have a strong faith in the "truth" of the event, you will literally feel the emotion that you are supposed to feel if the event was actually happening to you.
So would you say that when it was "bothering" you, you felt the same emotion that you would feel if the "event" was actually happening and you were actually participating in it?
In addition, were you "living" that moment of "feeling" that emotion as if it was happening in the moment of NOW? (By the way, if you felt it, it was being felt within NOW).
This is the exact formula for the LAW OF ATTRACTION.
You have to "live" an event in your imagination as-if you are participating in it and experience the "emotion" that is supposed to "come alive" within you and you must also experience the "event" in your imagination + live the emotion, as if it is RIGHT NOW.
Not to be fair, I am only using the word "You" here because, you (Dollar Bill) asked the question.
However, my answer is meant for anybody who can identify with the term "You", which is everyone with a pulse, and who is hopefully human.
I think that the only person who whom this advice does not apply is someone whose consciousness is within living "Enlightenment".
If you have consciousness within you, then you will attract the physical counterpart of everything that exists as your consciousness.
If much of that consists of "things that bother you" (as is the case with most of us), you will physically participate in everything that "bothers you".
The only way to stop it is to identify the things that "bother you" and realize that every one of those things are being attracted to you because they are "energy magnets" and they are attracting the experience of that which exists in your mind.
If you buy into the idea that you must resolve your understanding of this phenomenon buy your analytical mind, you will be forced to process it in terms of "what kind of a person am I if I choose to ignore these things?"
It is an un-resolvable puzzle if you try to "think" your way towards making sense of it.
We find ourselves in this illusion of reality where a veil of "cause & effect" is draped over everything we do with "thinking".
When I say Illusion, I am not saying that it is not real; it is quite real and in many cases, this "illusion" can cost our lives depending on our attraction.
The illusion part is that, we believe that "It" is the very fundamental foundation upon which our existence depends.
We believe that only things that can be understood within "Consciousness" are allowed to be labeled "real"
And because of this "intellectual paradox”, we are stuck in a trap.
It is possible to exist without processing every worry and whim as an exercise of consciousness.
It is possible for us to learn to "USE" consciousness with a deliberated choice of attraction instead of being constantly "hijacked" into a state of "involuntary attraction".
This is what we do when we worry about things, or when we give attention to things that "bother" us.
We bring those things into existence with the power of creation that exists within us.
It is up to us to consciously choose to "let go" of the things that bother us with the understanding that by doing so, we deny the opportunity for the existence of that "event" coming alive within reality.
This work cannot be achieved by us gathering and asking each other on who has the best "technique" to break the habit of involuntary worry, and then passing judgement on the "technique" instead of realizing that every technique is unique to the individual.
This must be achieved by individual effort, just like "swimming".
We have to break the habit of "involuntary worry" if we really want to give humanity a chance to "shift" with the changing times.
Dollar Bill if he is really your friend why do you need to ask this question? if it is in your power to help him do it. that he fail this test or not is out of your hand.
But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, http://bible.cc/matthew/6-3.htm
"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.
Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.
You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.
answered 07 Apr '12, 17:02
Yes I know this is a guy thing that I think the women don't quite get. We don't directly ask for help because asking for help would somehow make it seem we are less than a man, even offered help is an insult at first. "Na don't worry about me I can handle this two-ton boulder myself." I think it is an ego thing that has to do with competition where as women are used to cooperation so it seems so strange that guys are like that. It is just that our brains are different in that way.
We might say "I can handle this bolder myself" but at the same time we make sure we tell our strongest friend we have a bolder on us. lol So then the little argument has to ensure so finely the guy that needs the help can say "Oh alright if you insist on helping, (but you know I could do this myself) I'll let you help me!" So he gets the help he needs while at the same time looking like he is still strong and doesn't really need the help he needs.
It is all an ego game of competition like move over and let a real man lift that then the funny thing happens that he can't lift that alone either. Maybe 20 men would all try alone one after another before they decide the try together because this is a chance for one of them to prove "Ha I moved this rock! None of you could but I moved it! Yeah! Who's the man here?" (Think of the Excalibur story, had it been women, there would have been no line. They would have all pulled together and got that sword out a long time ago! LOL)
When you think of it it is something primal really you see it even in nature the males of the wolves fight to be the leader of the pack, I suppose that sticks with us as human men with competition.
So I can see why this would be that your friend might say what is wrong but never that he actually needs the help. I think we need to let our Christian values override that and help anyway, even getting into that little argument that has to end in "Oh alright if you insist on helping then I'll take the help."
One thing we need to not let tempt us is to say the egotistic, "I'll help you but you'll owe me for this." It is helping but forgetting about it God will reward us not our friends that we help. Furthermore God's rewards are far more profitable than any returned favor.
It is amazing how answers come when you write down a question! Reading other answers here helps solidify my thinking.
I am waiting to try this out.
You get a phone call at three o'clock in the morning and it's John and he says, "Hey, old buddy, I am stuck at the airport and have no money for a taxi to get home."
It sounds as if he is asking for my help, but he is not! He made a statement and I jump in to help or feel bad if I say, "I can't help you."
He did not ask for my help. I volunteered to help him. He sees no need to return the favor! Because I really did NOT do him a favor in his mind! I volunteered to help him
The (now) logical thing to say is, "Are you asking me to get out of bed at three am, drive to the airport, pick you up and take you to your home?" I would imagine he would back up and tell me he was not asking for my help, and call someone else.
If he says, "Yes, that is exactly what I am asking you." Then I can say, "Sorry, no can do. (most likely), or "If I do this for you, you are going to owe me a favor back, big time."
The key is that people who make statements and you volunteer do not feel a need to pay you back, but if you make them ask for your help, then they will feel a need to pay you back. If they do not feel a need to pay you back, you can easily cut them off.
EDITED I would like to edit out a lot of the above, because I feel a profound shift in myself, from where was, to where I am, now, but feel I should leave the above as is, because someone else may benefit from "then to now".
For the Now. @Traveler I have read your answer again, and it stirs me even deeper. Profound and meaningful, and the Answer to my question! I am looking at things that "bother" me in a whole new light! My feeling is to turn away from "bother", not give it any energy and turn to things I like. Otherwise I create events that increase "bother".
I now see more clearly and have an example. About nine months ago I took in a tenant. She had a low credit score, but seemed capable of handling the rent. The first month, on the 29th. with rent due on the 31st, she came with a laundry list of small problems concerning the property. It had been vacant and copper thieves had stolen wiring and plumbing. I had replaced these things before she moved in and thought everything was ok.
I talked with my maintenance people and they felt they had corrected all flaws previous to her moving in. I wondered if she was "using" this as an excuse for not paying rent. So I pulled everyone from other jobs and had her problems cured within a day, but it upset my routine since I put her problems into an emergency status. The whole time I was grumbling and reinforcing the "bother."
She paid the rent at the last moment before late fees kicked in.
The next month, on the 29th she called again with another laundry list of different problems! This time I was SURE she was using this as an excuse not to pay the rent! I mobilized my maintenance staff and fixed these problems in one day. She again paid at the last minute.
I renovate properties when I buy them so there is little need for ongoing maintenance. Her problem list was more than all my other properties combined! Twice! I was really certain that she was creating them!
Sometimes it seem like someone rolls a bowling ball down my alley! It is me, always, but sometimes I don't see that fact. I just see my pins go flying! I scramble to "fix" problems!
I had a chat with myself. I went over all her good qualities and reinforced my good feelings about her. Why I had accepted her as a tenant in the first place. I saw her as a powerful, capable woman living in a good solid happy home.
Since that time, for the last 7 or so months, she has dutifully paid the rent and only asked for one minor problem to be fixed.
I have asked a question here and received the answer I needed to hear and a lot more that I also needed to hear. Thanks!
Hi Dollar Bill, Some of the answers here are amazing but please dont stop helping your friend. It would be better to change how you react to him than to not help. Personaly I think you are a great person for you have heart and what bothers you is only human and can be overcome in a humane way.
Many think it is a pain in the but to be bothered by friends that don't return favours but to give from the heart is to have no expectation. Go ahead give from the heart anyway even if you already know that maybe one day you might need help and this person won't be there for you.
Your friend phoned and told you his problem. To some that is not only asking for help but is an actual cry for help. Many people have different ways of asking by not asking but they in fact are asking anyway for if they wern't they wouldnt have called in the first place. Your friend asked for help the only way he felt comfortabel doing and I'm proud of you for helping.
Change the way you react to your friend and instead of feeling bothered by thinking that you were used feel proud that it was you that helped. After all he called you which means he thinks you a good friend, one he can rely on.
Other than that there is a simple solution to your problem. Talk to your friend don't interogate him. Ask him why is it that he can´t seem to ask for help. Tell him all you have to do is say I need help will you please help me. Listen to his response for like a lot of people he might have a problem asking or he thinks that his telling the problem is asking. Ask him how come he isn´t there for you when you need him. Tell him that makes you feel used for you are allways there for him. Listen to what he says, maybe he genuinly couldnt help.
I can assure you that after that talk he either wont call you again or he will ask for help and he will be there for you when you need help.
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