Coaching And Facilitation Experiences – What if I am unable to help?

In our previous Resilience Nugget podcast, we spoke about how it is okay to ask for help. Despite the widespread opinion of it showing weakness and incapability, it actually shows a humility and maturity because we know we could never possess strength in every skill out there. Asking others to give input empowers both sides of the story.

But now I’d like to pull a really typical C.A.F.E Life move here and flip the question around: what if you’re the one being asked for help? 

Healthy relationships usually include a willingness to assist each other whenever we can – willingness being the key word. As in, we really want to help another for a cause outside of our own benefit or gain.

This could be for a number of reasons, here's just a few of them:

* The relationship is based on a equal amount of giving from both sides
* There is a mutual respect and trust between both parties
* There is a deep caring for the person involved and this drives a desire to help them
* One might simply love to give and help others, because it brings us joy
* You know that if you were to ask them for help you would receive help in return
* Because you have already received their help in the past and wish to reciprocate the act. 

Giving is on every level always a beautiful thing. Never could you find giving of ones self have a negative repercussion towards the one who’s receiving the help. But sometimes, I’ve found myself in a space where I am unable to give, or even unwilling. This again could be for a number of reasons – if you find the reason is more often than not because you’re simply reluctant to help another, perhaps some deep digging into that could shed light upon why it is you struggle to do so.

But on the flip side, there are still times when saying no to helping another could be a healthy move for you. It comes back and ties in to what we at C.A.F.E. Life often say: know your YES so that you have a strong, empowered NO. In other words…know the things you’re wanting to prioritise and put most your time and energy into, so that you can say no to the things that would otherwise counteract that work. 

Here’s some situations where you might find a need for greater assessment into the matter before deciding upon saying yes:

* When the help needed is financial, and they have previously proven to be unreliable in paying you back when they said they would – if this is the case and you still want to give, make sure you give with a good heart and without expecting to ever get it back again.

* When you have not got enough resources on hand to share it with another – For an example, if you’re swamped and out of time, exhausted, low on energy, in a bad space yourself, or not totally clued up in a specific field that you need to be in order to help – it is better to then rejuvenate ourselves first before attempting to help another. We can’t give from an empty cup.

* When a priority of yours is requiring the resources that are being asked of you – meaning you would otherwise not be able to give those resources to your priorities

* If you feel that you’d hold it against the person, or have the need to keep count, or feel a pressure to help them – this behaviour could risk burning bridges with others and festering resentment within us. In that case, it serves nobody in the long run and again something deeper here needs to be questioned.

Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

The bottom line is to be honest with yourself firstly and foremost. And then, to be honest with them. Whether you’re saying yes, or no. If you have to say no, be sure to do it in a way that doesn’t jeopardise the relationship or make them feel shut down. For most cases, giving the honest reason why you can’t help, could be the best response to avoid this and create a good understanding of why you’re unable to help.

Now don’t get me wrong – as I said, helping another is always a beautiful thing and whenever we do it with a glad heart we are bound to receive blessings, no matter the situation. The important message to take away from this is that there are times when it is okay to not be able to help – we usually feel these times in our guts, where we can just feel that it’s not going to serve either side positively. And if we communicate this, the other person involved and, ourselves, can allow for grace in the situation.

We’re living in very disruptive times, where our energy and resources will be in some ways totally stretched, and in other ways they’ll be more abundant and available to give. Now more than ever, we should be standing next to one another and uniting to get through the storm, giving from the resources that are abundant to us. When we aren’t able to help, make sure we know why, and the other party knows why, so that they have the understanding that it comes from a place of, “I’m sorry that I can’t help you with this right now. But don’t forget that I’m still for you, and still with you in this too.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *