Four Ways We Can Respond To Those Who Offer Their Help
When people see your need and offer to help, or are in an official position to extend the request, you'll traverse life with numerous folks seeking to help you. So, you might wonder how to reply and what to do. You have four options to consider.
How Can I Respond To Someone Offering Help?
- Actively Resist The Help (even when we need it).
- Apathetically Accept The Offer (which communicates a lack of appreciation).
- Enthusiastically Embrace The Invitation (energize the helper!).
- Respectfully & Gratefully Decline (when it's truly appropriate).
I'm a fan of number three and four above, as you'll soon learn in my personal experience extending offers of help to others.
How People Responded To My Offer Of Help
Every year, our former church hosts its services at the park for Easter Sunday.
In 2015, I had the wonderful opportunity to serve as a parking attendant. Part of this included helping carry guest's food and stuff to their destinations and an offer to park their vehicle in the larger lot.
After the experience, I recognized an interesting pattern of how people responded to my offer for help.
Some of the people I offered to help actively resisted it. In many of these cases, they clearly needed the help, but they adamantly declined while they were dropping things and struggling with their children. Seeing the difficulty, I'd offer multiple times to help, but many were firmly committed to doing it themselves. I found this draining and demoralizing for me as the one offering the help. As a result, they left a negative and memorable impression on me. While I disliked helping these people, I knew they still needed to be served and loved.
The second pattern I noticed was the group of people who accepted my help but were fairly apathetic about me helping them. When I offered to help, they looked at me like a deer in the headlights. They said yes without much emotion or excitement, and I quickly forgot about them.
The third pattern I noticed were the people who accepted and embraced my offer to serve them. The more I helped them, the more excited they were to receive. They expressed their gratitude and were happy for the help. The more excited they got, the more I wanted to serve them. Their response and my immediate impact in making their lives better were energizing. These were positive & memorable moments, unlike my experience of those who resisted.
When you to help, this last approach is the most fruitful for the person helping and the one receiving it. But, there are times you truly don't need the help and are not simply declining out of some social expectation. In these cases, simply decline the invitation respectfully and with gratitude. Open the door to receive their offer next time.
Wrapping It Up
The next time someone offers to help you or give you a gift, which way will you respond? Will you resist, act apathetically, genuinely embrace it, or respectfully decline?
Image courtesy of PicJumbo.