White knights begone!

Posted by on Oct 12, 2018 • 3 minute read

When we offer, and don’t give, we honour all parties. We see each other, connect, we make the world a better place.

Helping without being a rescuer

I have never seen myself as a ‘rescuer’, in fact I have such an aversion to the very idea of ‘helping’ others that I placed my coaching practice firmly in the learning and development box. I would balk at my fellow coach colleagues saying that they came into this profession because they wanted to ‘help’ people. Uh uh, not me, don’t come to me if you want ‘help’. We go on a learning journey together, side by side. I see you as a robust, resilient human being who has all the answers to all your problems. I do not help anyone. I’m no White Knight, no Florence Nightingale. Got it?

Characteristics of a rescuer

Now is when the loud guffaws start up, holding your belly as you roll around the floor in mirth. Okay, yes, I admit it. I have ‘helped’. I have actually been the worst of ‘helpers’. I have bought artworks (or books, or crafts, or clothes) I did not need to help the starving artist, crafter, writer, new business owner. I lent money I knew I would never get back, given furniture, clothing, food, and, worst of all, advice, all unsolicited and largely unwanted, because I wanted to ‘help’. I have done it all. I have tried to rescue and save more than anyone. Did it help? No. Nor did it earn me any friends and it certainly will not get me into heaven, if such a place exists.

Stepping out of the rescuer role

What on the surface looked charitable and good, was essentially demeaning, judgmental and diminishing. By my actions I was saying I was better than the other person, who was “helpless and needy”. I put myself above them by not asking what it is that would best serve them. Rather, I threw my solution at them, because, of course, I knew better.

On the other side of the spectrum is giving away services or stuff for free in a desperate attempt to garner approval. I know someone who has done quite a bit of this in the past. I, of course, have never done this, ever. (Oh, wipe that smirk off your face.) Giving stuff away and not charging for it when charging would be the appropriate thing to do - one has to eat and pay bills, after all, devalues it and ourselves. Not good. Not great. Puts me in pathetic mode. I do not do pathetic mode very well at all. Nah ah.

Becoming mentally strong and supportive

I have learnt to stop and ask if, and what, assistance a person requires. Usually I am surprised by the answer. Most people don’t want stuff or money, they want to be heard, they want to be seen and acknowledged. They mostly want to find their own answers and solutions (coaching 101 - dah!). I, sorry that person I was speaking about, has learnt to charge for the services and stuff on offer and not to give it away.

When we offer, and don’t give, we honour all parties. We see each other, connect, we make the world a better place.

Image credit

Pixabay

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This week's quote is about not being a rescuer or helper when supporting others. It's about how to be mentally strong and offer assistance, even when you think you know better. The quote is a reminder that the best way to be a friend is to offer, don't give help and support unless it is asked for. When you do this you are seeing the other person as a powerful, resourceful and capable human being.

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When we offer, and don’t give, we honour all parties. We see each other, connect, we make the world a better place.
When we offer, and don’t give, we honour all parties. We see each other, connect, we make the world a better place.
Chantal Dawtrey

Chantal loves to learn and loves to work with people who want to learn. She is the co-founder of 5th Place and co-creator of Shape of Emotion.

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