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The helper trap

Hello guys,

Problem

here is a big trap when you help people. If, when you helped them, they felt inferior they will tend to look for revenge. They will do their best to punish you for making them feel inferior. It's most often unconscious I believe. It will express itself in passive-aggressive way.

Yes, they cannot say: "I hate you for having helped me, I felt useless". Even less in front of other people. They would look like a--holes.

So they have to hide their angry feelings.

I made this mistake over and over again.

Solution

I read it in a book about Career stuff, I forgot which one: Respect their ego. If one is pushing too hard, the other person will experience it as an aggression.

Another approach is to let people ask you questions. If you help them with stuff they did not ask for help with, then it's on you. You actually pushed your help on them. Let people ask you for help instead of proposing help.

Cheers!

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Yes, this is advanced power dynamics.

It also depends a lot on personalities.

If people respect you as more advanced, or if they have very antifragile egos, then it's less of an issue -or no issue-.

If they see you as an equal or, worse, as below them and if they have big fragile egos, then they will resent you a lot.

Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?

There was one time that my business partner called me and shared some vulnerable matters.
Toward the end of the call, she told me that she felt uncomfortable with the vulnerability and "power difference".
She even said that she understands why people would like to hit back after being vulnerable.

I couldn't think of the best way to handle this statement on the spot.
What I decided to do is share something that I know she will try to "help" me back for it.

I wrapped up the call that we are both doing well and moving forward together.
I'm not exactly sure, but I think she felt more balanced at the end of the call.

The issue here for people you know less well is that you may lose out on social capital.

Guide People to Help Themselves

Exploring the idea here.

One way that I am exploring is giving the person a push in the right direction.
Then the person gets to help himself and reach his own conclusion.

For example, I find that Lucio uses this method effectively on the forum.

Hey man, here are my general thoughts.
How do you think you could have approached that situation?

Find Ways to Give Credit Back When Helping a Person

Find ways to give credit back when helping a person.

Let's take another example where Lucio does this.
In my personal opinion, Lucio and John expanded lots of time to help me out in understanding the dynamics with "I'm happy for you ...".
I already appreciate this a lot, and thank them for that.

Lucio was generous to thank me for helping to come out with the self-frame concept through my questions.
Receiving credit does feel uplifting and empowering.

OFF-TOPIC

To be clear here, I don't expect to receive credit when participating on this forum.
I have already gained a lot through learning power dynamics by virtue of gaining feedback on what I post.
Getting credit is the icing on the cake.
But icing is always nice : ).

OFF-TOPIC

Lucio Buffalmano has reacted to this post.
Lucio Buffalmano

Matthew: There was one time that my business partner called me and shared some vulnerable matters.
Toward the end of the call, she told me that she felt uncomfortable with the vulnerability and "power difference".
She even said that she understands why people would like to hit back after being vulnerable.

Interesting scenario.

So first she opened up, and then she complained :).
At that point, depending on in the interaction, I might have sent the complaint back to her:

I totally understand how you feel, and you make a very good observation, I think you're very socially skilled.
But when you tell me that you don't feel good about it, it feels like you're asking or expecting me to take some action. I must remind you that it was your choice to open up, and it's not my duty to make you feel better now.

And then maybe added just to be sure:

What I do can tell you though, is that you can count on keeping private stuff private

A bit of a cold way of handling it, so you actually did good.
It's generally a good idea to open up on your own and/or to reward someone for opening up -a bit less cool and a bit more disempowering for you that they ask for it :)-.

Matthew Whitewood has reacted to this post.
Matthew Whitewood
Have you read the forum guidelines for effective communication already?