No One Wants Your Help
When we're infants and toddlers, our parents do everything for us and we lovingly accept every gesture without a second thought. Around the ages of two and three, we develop our ego and "no" becomes a big part of our vocabulary.
We don't say "no" because their help isn't beneficial—we say "no" because we want to do things by ourselves. We want to explore, learn, try and fail, and unravel life on our own. We appreciate the gesture to help, and when a situation becomes too much, we're willing to ask for support. But not a second before that.
That system of doing for self becomes a standard for the rest of our lives. We want to explore and unravel our Universe until that very point where we need support and guidance.
The truth is, unless you're asked, no one wants your help. No one wants your opinion, your advice, your perspective, or your thoughts.
We strive for independence in life. We want to be free to make our own decisions and live our own life. Having someone chime in and tell us what is best for us feels like a threat to our freedom. There is no anger or disdain towards anyone, but how often do you find yourself annoyed when someone starts telling you what you should do, when all you wanted to do was vent?
We tend to assume we have more knowledge and awareness than other people.
They're coming to me because they can't figure this out on their own.
Sometimes people just want to vent. Every conversation isn't a cry for help.
When someone stops talking, "Did you want my take on things?" vs "You should...," goes a long way. Ask more questions and talk less. Most of the time people know what they want in life. When they approach a friend it's just to confirm or deny their beliefs.
No one wants your help. They just want your support in what they need at the moment: an ear, a nod of approval, a shared bottle of wine over snacks, or a long hearty laugh to escape for a bit.