Part 6: I Don’t Want Your Help
I know this blog might ruffle some feathers; mine included. What if the person you’re helping doesn’t want your help? I know you’re a good person and they need help. Why wouldn’t they want your help? The truth is that they may not want your help right now.
We all have busy lives and there are tons of things competing for your time, and you have made the decision to set aside this time frame to help the homeless. The problem is that they might not want to be helped on your time schedule. Personally, I’m a very 'Type A' person. I want to help you list all the things you need fixed and then we can address them one at a time, and at the end of the day when we both go to sleep (me in my bed and you in your sleeping bag in the woods) we can both feel like we got a lot accomplished. The problem with this kind of help is the person you are helping is not ready to be helped at your 'Type A' pace. Yes they need help; however, they are not ready and are going to push back at your insistence that they get help your way.
So what do you do with a person who doesn’t want your help? You really have two options. First, don’t help them, walk away, and try to find someone else to help. Second, don’t help them and just hang out, talk, and get to know them. It’s funny how just by talking to someone long enough causes things to naturally come up in conversation which you could help with. If the person tells you something that they need (or need help with), ask if you can help them. If you were to just run and get them something, you have now taken them out of the equation of helping themselves. Remember: the goal is that we are helping them solve their own problems, not solving it for them. Once you are invited to help, make sure that you engage this person in this way. They are going to feel much better if they are part of solving their own problem.
To see other Blogs in this series, click "Charity Hurts"