Why People Don't Want to Help You
These days we hear many people complaining about how, in the past, when someone had a problem, neighbors and loved ones were quick to help them, but today, this just doesn’t seem to be the case.
We talk about the fact that people are busier, more stressed, less caring and utterly selfish, but the truth is that these are just excuses.
The truth is that people have not changed.
Yes, they work hard and have lots of stress in their lives, but the same was true for individuals who lived decades ago.
While it is true that some people actually are selfish and uncaring, they actually are the minority.
Over the years, I have seen individuals do things for one another that completely go against the stereotypes mentioned above.
Almost every day you hear on the news that
- someone has risked his life to save a person he doesn’t even know,
- people have donated kidneys to strangers and
- other have taken hurricane ravaged strangers into their homes just to give them a roof over their heads.
These are not small sacrifices and prove beyond a doubt that, as Anne Frank wrote “I still believe people are good at heart”.
What’s the Problem?
Some of you are reading this right now and thinking to yourselves, “Why am I not seeing this?”.
You are a good person who works hard, has good values and tries to live a decent life, yet when
- you are sick, nobody calls,
- you need assistance around the house, nobody offers to help and
- your car breaks down, and you need a lift, there is nobody who offers you a ride.
If people are so good to others, you cannot understand why they’re not being good to you!
It is easy to blame your situation on others, but have you ever stopped to think that perhaps you are the one who is causing them to respond as they do?
You may not even realize it, but there likely are things you are doing that make people not want to help you.
If you changed your ways, it is highly likely that they would change theirs!
Below are some things you might want to consider doing (or not doing) if you want people to reach out to you when you are in need.
Lack of Reciprocation
When people do things for you, it is often out of kindness. They don’t basically expect anything from you.
However, if you take their help for granted and are unable to even say ‘Thank you”, after awhile, they begin to feel like you are using them.
This is especially true if they end up needing some sort of help, and you simply shy away from them.
Even a seemingly insignificant lack of reciprocation can drive people away.
For example, my husband and I have been friends for years with another couple, Early in our relationship, we used to invite them to dinner fairly regularly.
After awhile, we realized that they were not doing the same. Not only that, but when we went out to eat together, they never even offered to pick up the tab as a way of thanking us.
Furthermore, we’ve had a fair amount of health problems. In 30 years they never one time called to see how we were doing or even sent a get well card.
These are likable people with whom we’ve enjoyed many happy visits. However, we came to feel that they weren’t treating us fairly.
So, a long time ago, we stopped having them over for dinner and have spent less time with them as the years have passed. If one of them gets sick, we’ll still call, but that’s all we’ll do.
We want to be with people who appreciate and respect us, not those who think it’s OK to take and not give.
Not Acknowledging People
it is very easy to become lazy when it comes to sending greeting cards, going to special events or giving gifts at appropriate times to people with whom you may have relationships.
Although their special times may not seem important to you, they are very important to them.
It takes very little to place a call or send a card when someone is ill, is having a birthday or is getting married.
However, when you avoid doing things like this, people remember, and they keep those memories for very long amounts of time.
So, when you turn to them for assistance, you should not expect to get it. In fact, you shouldn't even ask.
Why would someone you have slighted want to help you?
Exhibiting Bad Habits
There are two terrible bad habits that people have which annoy others and make them want to steer clear of them.
People who still smoke may be able to find help from others who do the same, but these days many people who have given up this terrible habit simply don’t want to be around it.
It not only is a filthy habit, but it can be dangerous for those who spend any time in the realm of a smoker. They smell, their homes and vehicles smell and when those who have spent time with them leave, they smell, too!
They get sick a lot and expect people to give them a helping hand when they do, but many feel that they are causing their own health problems and simply don’t want to get involved with them.
People who drink too much are a big turnoff for people who do not imbibe.
Driving anywhere with them can be dangerous and so can they because the alcohol makes them mentally unstable.
No average person wants to become involved with individuals who are unable to control their behaviors, therefore they generally stay away from them or find excuses not to become involved in their problems.
Another behavior that drives people away is when those they know consistently gossip about other individuals or purposely try to harm their reputations.
The problem here is that if you hang around people like this, you can never know if you are going to be the one they go after next!
When you don't trust people or approve of the way they behave, you certainly are not going to go out of your way to assist them when they have problems.
A woman I knew once fell down in her driveway and couldn't get up. Her neighbor was pulling out of her own driveway, saw her, ignored her and drove off.
The lady who fell thought that woman was horrible for doing this, but clearly had created some sort of bad feelings with her neighbor that were strong enough to overcome her desire to help, even in a serious situation like a fall.
If you become known as a gossip or as someone who is untrustworthy, don't expect any help from people who know you!
There is nothing wrong with someone owning a pet, but when that animal is not properly cleaned and trained others want nothing to do with them or their owners.
It’s not fun to constantly be interrupted by someone’s barking dog, sit on a sofa and get covered with animal hair, or tolerate animal smells when trying to visit someone?
More importantly, there is a great deal of resentment these days about people who claim to need a “comfort animal” and use it to garner sympathy, buy condos in pet free communities, travel with it on airplanes and allow it to annoy other individuals.
Furthermore, people really dislike it when they see a pet owner abusing his animal. I used to know a man (emphasis on "used to") who would keep his dog tied up for days on end and would often forget to feed and water him. I found this to be an abominable behavior, so when visiting, would take care of the poor animal myself. I couldn't report him because he was friends with my fiance, but whenever he asked either of us to help him, the answer was always a resounding "no".
Make no mistake. Many people love animals, but they are not going to go out of their way to help pet owners who mistreat their pets or use them to step on the rights of other people.
Ignoring Helpful Advice
One of the things that really irritate people occurs when individuals ask them for help or advice and then completely ignore it!
After awhile, nobody wants to reach out to people who do things like this.
- call to complain about health problems, but when you advise them to see a doctor, they never do,
- complain about how their adult children are involved in negative behaviors, but will continue to enable them even after you point out that as long as the parents do this, the kids will continue with their self-destruction,
- whine about how they never seem to have enough money, but when you show them how to save, they ignore your advice.
Eventually, people who normally would try to help individuals like this, completely stop doing so because they feel like they are being used and what they are doing is a waste of time!
People get really tired of those who say their going to do something and then either never do it or put it off for so long that it multiplies their problems.
I know a woman who has needed to have her teeth fixed for more than a year. She always complains about how hard it is to eat food and how bad her teeth look, but after awhile, I just let her vent and go on my way.
There was a time when I would have been willing to lend her the money to get the dental work she needed, but I realized I’d grow old and gray waiting for her to pay it back!
Now, when she complains about anything, I just change the subject and move on!
Consistently Asking for Favors
It’s OK to ask a favor of a friend once in awhile when you really need one, but some people make a habit of doing this. It gets old very quickly.
Asking to borrow things or to have someone take care of responsibilities that are yours and not theirs are especially disliked by most people.
This is because the average person has all he can do to take care of his own business, without having to be burdened with yours.
One woman in my community left town for 6 months every year and asked a neighbor to get her mail for her while she was gone so that the local authorities would think she was still in town and would not delete her homestead exemptions.
This always bothered me because as far as I was concerned, it was a form of cheating that put anybody helping her at risk of having legal problems. So, when her neighbor died, and she asked me to handle her mail, I refused.
It was her choice to leave and to deal with any repercussions of doing so and also her responsibility to have her mail forwarded.
She was asking favors simply to get out of doing things herself, and eventually everybody who knew her stopped helping her.
There is a difference between asking someone to share information with you and asking them to do something that endanger or severely inconveniences them.
Also, after awhile, people who see your name on caller ID start refusing to answer their phones because they don’t want to have to deal with your requests!
Arguing With a Helper
Another thing that people do that drives potential helpers away is to argue with them when they are trying to offer assistance.
- You make a suggestion, and they make an excuse for not following it.
- You offer to give them something that will help them, and they tell you they don’t want it.
- You offer to take them to get help, and they refuse to go.
You shouldn’t ask for help if you are unprepared to accept it because doing so wastes people’s time and energy and stresses them as well.
You might get away with doing this one time, but the next time there will be no offers of help!
Maybe It Isn't You!
Having said all of this, let me be clear about one point.
The fault for this problem isn't always yours!
There are people in this world who simply are lazy, selfish and uncaring who never help anybody no matter what because they don't feel it is in their best interest to do so.
So, if you are not doing any of the things mentioned in this article and certain people still are unwilling to assist you when you need help, the problem is them and not you.
Do You See Yourself?
As you can see, there are many reasons why people get to the point where they don’t want to be helpful.
Once burned, twice warned.
Someone who started out with the right intentions sometimes learns the hard way that trying to lend other people a hand backfires too often, so they simply stop doing it.
The bottom line is that if you are doing or have done something to cause people to feel this way, don’t blame them.
If you are lucky enough to meet new people who are willing to help you, make sure you aren’t doing anything to turn them off.
Otherwise, you’ll be creating a new slew of people who won’t want to help you!
Do you do any of the things mentioned in this article?
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Sondra Rochelle