What started as off as pure and kind could end up in a complete disaster. I know sometimes we mean well. All we want to do is make this world a better place. But let’s have some sort of a reality check. Is the world getting better or is it turning from bad to worse? I hate to be negative but that’s how it is.
Good news, though. There’s always a way around it if not through it. We can carry on with our good intentions. Don’t stop wanting to loan your buddy some money. Never grow tired of lending a shoulder to cry on. Don’t shy away from offering an advice or two. But…do all that with caution. Good intentions only stay that way if they are executed correctly and here’s my take on it.
How to “perform” well in meaning well
- Assess, assess and assess before going for it
It’s probably human nature to go on impulse. We see someone making a wrong decision in a love relationship and we go “Woah, that’s not how it works. Here’s how…yada, yada, yada”. As much as we want to help, always know where to draw the line. Or better yet, evaluate if a line needs to be drawn in the first place. Chances are, you may not even need to pick up the pencil. There are certain things that are best left to the beholder. No two human beings are the same. What you see fit might be out of proportion for another. So, take a step back and assess. Is your help really needed? Will your opinion offend and make things worse? Those are the kind of questions you need to ask before offering your I-can-help-you services.
- Don’t rush
Now that you’ve decided that you should take a step in, walk with grace. In one way or another, seek consent for your opinion to be offered. Once the green light is on, move forward at a rhythmic pace and keep it steady. Share why you feel some should be done in a different way. Take your time explaining and make room for feedback from the subject. Whoever it is, you friend, your superior or your family… always remember that this is about them, not you.
- Observe through the process
As you go along, look for signs of rejection. Is the subject you’re talking to withdrawing him or herself? Have your words been too harsh? If it isn’t turning out well, perhaps it’s best to drop it and change the topic – something lighter and completely unrelated. Distracting the person from the problems could be a great way to help as well. So, always observe.
- Stick to the intention
Ahah! This is dangerous. We begin with this urge to help but without realizing it, we’re making the whole thing about ourselves instead of the person we’re trying to help. Say you’re trying to help someone decide whether or not to leave the current job. Instead of helping the subject examine the scenario within his or her context, you toss yourself in and make comparisons. Perhaps something like this:”You should leave. Get another job. Look at mine. The pay is good and I looooveee my colleagues.”That. Is. So. An…no…ying! Is that helping? Of course not! That’s plain bragging. So, be sure not to get distracted and use your buddy’s problems as a platform to show how perfect your life is.
- Constantly learn
The best part about all these is that we could screw up in one case and excel in another. So if you try helping someone but it ends up putting you on the fish hook, don’t be discouraged. Be positive. Different people react differently so take every experience as a lesson and learn from it.
I guess that’s about what I have. Will it work? Maybe. Will it not work? Maybe. Nothing is certain. Life is complicated, ain’t it? But that’s how colors exist, if you know what I mean. Just make sure our intentions do not turn into interventions!