Sign InMy Account

Helping Others Vs. Dysfunction

Posted By: Randy GageApril 1, 2010

In yesterday’s post I asked if having the purpose of trying to provide everybody’s happiness was realistic.  And what believing that would do to your self-esteem and feelings of worth.

A lot of your thought it was a doable goal.  I would disagree.  I would suggest that people who spend their existence worrying solely about the needs of others and not themselves are not noble, benevolent, and spiritual.  They are crazy.

And because they don’t look after their own needs first, they really can’t help others in a healthy way.  They can console them, participate in their drama, or enable their co-dependence, but they can’t offer them real, meaningful help.

This is a very common situation you see in the children of alcoholics, or other abusive upbringings.  They are forever walking on eggshells, always pandering to those around them.

They smile about everything, continuously compliment those around them, and spend their days telling everybody around them exactly what they want to hear.  It’s like they have a computer screen in their mind that previews everything they say before they say it.  They scan it first to make sure that it will be what the person they are talking to wants to hear.  If not, they edit it, so the only things they say are things that make people happy.  (This is a defense mechanism they developed in childhood to avoid getting ridiculed, punished, or even beaten.)

So they go through their whole life with this social anxiety, always worrying about how people will react to what they say.  It makes them totally neurotic, and drives their self-esteem into the basement.

Sometimes it’s quite apparent; other times, it’s below the surface.  Spending your life trying to please others always ends up in dysfunctional behavior.  Always.

Now we have to explore another issue for you to really get your hands around this and be able to come to grips with the philosophy that is congruent and right for you.  And that issue is whether I’m advocating hedonism.  Which is where we’ll pick up next post…

-RG

24 comments on “Helping Others Vs. Dysfunction”

  1. RG,

    This is beautifully written:
    "And because they don’t look after their own needs first, they really can’t help others in a healthy way. They can console them, participate in their drama, or enable their co-dependence, but they can’t offer them real, meaningful help."

    I have spent 16 yrs. helping single adults. How would I even dare attempt that unless I made sure I had something to offer them?
    I am not the drama queen, which I have stated before, nor do I partake in ANY of it.
    When I took a spiritual gifts test, my mercy level was low. I was shocked! Then I realized that as soon as someone tells me their dilemma, I never get caught up in the moment/drama, but immediately look for solutions. (maybe that is the critical care nurse gene in me, IDK) Not solutions that I have to provide for them, but solutions that they themselves can accomplish and do. Even if these are tiny steps....I do not encourage them to stay in the moment.
    Don't get me wrong...I am an extremely, compassionate, giver, servant & lover of people. My "enabler" switch is just OFF! (I don't even know if I ever had one!)

    I appreciate you & thanks for a great post!!
    g

  2. You summed it up well "spending your life trying to please others always ends up in dysfunctional behavior". I am guilty of this and continually catch myself wanting to please others when it's not really what I want to do....why does one feel this way (no abusive parents...) and fall into this trap so easily?

  3. I've been reading your posts for a long time and this time the light bulb went off. Shit! I realized that I'm a people pleaser. Not to the extreme but I still participate in that world. Shit! Time for a change. Ye-ha! Thanks-RG.

    You can believe something, but not until you know, that is when life changes.

  4. "If not, they edit it, so the only things they say are things that make people happy. (This is a defense mechanism they developed in childhood to avoid getting ridiculed, punished, or even beaten.)

    So they go through their whole life with this social anxiety, always worrying about how people will react to what they say. It makes them totally neurotic, and drives their self-esteem into the basement.

    Sometimes it’s quite apparent; other times, it’s below the surface. Spending your life trying to please others always ends up in dysfunctional behavior. Always."

    Were you thinking of me when you wrote this or something??? lol. It did drive my self esteem into the basement and I felt totally surpressed.
    I'm in the process of trying to express not surpress now and stop the editing.
    Any advice you can give RG?

  5. "They smile about everything, continuously compliment those around them, and spend their days telling everybody around them exactly what they want to hear. It’s like they have a computer screen in their mind that previews everything they say before they say it. They scan it first to make sure that it will be what the person they are talking to wants to hear. If not, they edit it, so the only things they say are things that make people happy. "

    > It sounds like selling...which is different from sharing or marketing or engaging.

  6. From a certain perspective everyone is selling something.

    Some sell their pity parties and how life is unfair [to them] ...

    Some sell how great .....

    Some are pied pipers to a land of prosperity....

    Thanks Randy for offering a land of prosperity of my choosing.

  7. Randy,

    I agree with you in partiality. One must look after there needs IN CONJUNCTION with the needs of those whom they are caring for. It is not possible nor realistic to asssume that one will always have the time to think of themselves first. Being of a servant mentality is the ability to take care of both yourself and others.

    I speak from the position of experience as a single mother of four children. There are times when one is able to look after themselves first but the most critical element in my experience is to ensure the DAILY you take care of yourself-whether that be in the morning or in the eveing..

    food for thought.

    Sheila

  8. The clear logic - if you dont take care of your needs, never take any decisions, never give your own view to things, never say NO to anything- then you become nobody. And how terrible it is, you can only feel it when you really were somebody at the beginning but people treat you like none because you haven´t lived your life out of your true forces.Because your forces could not work from inside and out. I guess that is "hell on earth". But it is simple, I mean you can change it quickly, it is not a hard work.People just don´t know that this work excists. Don´t know that there is a way out. I think many problems in the world come from this ; we don´t know that there is another way to go.Thanks Randy, YOU ARE GREAT!

  9. it's the airplane thing - you gotta put on your own mask first - if you suffocate you're no good to anyone - including yourself.

    somewhere along the way 'selfish' came to have such a negative connotation - when actually it simply means to take care of the self... have never been able to figure out how that could be a bad thing.

  10. yeah randy that's so so true.
    i never allow myself to deny my identity, my values, my personality or anything else on behalf of the love I have for someone.
    That's def.
    when people try to do this to me I just expand my awareness because if i commit to those people they can give me some unecessary headaches.:

    --> "I've given to you, now it's your turn to compensate me.!"

    and that is so dumb, i hate that way of being.
    these type of personalities are losers from the start. They only attract manipulative people for their lives, fake friendships, pathetic affairs or marriages or any other king of social relationships...

    result: low scores in the prosperity IQ test.
    Luv ya God bless you

  11. As the child of an alcoholic I too have had years of therapy to break the patterns set up by that experience.
    I am a therapist myself now and have a couple of clients - so called spiritual ones - who think they are being so spiritual by helping others first before themselves. They are ill, depressed, angry, broke and wonder why! (And yes I have recommended your book several times to them, tho they still haven't bought it). If they don't want to change I end the sessions with them. Some people think I am hard, but my job is to help people empower themselves and become independent not co-dependent and hooked into victimhood. Their need to help others is simply a distraction from having to deal with their own stuff, it doesn't serve them or the ones they are trying to help.

  12. Sounds great! I have also been to communitys where people believe in something and think that beleive is enough for a lifetime...well I don´t know but the force they hang on to is NOT HEALTHY.And there life is a somehow a shame for the humanity:No progress,no passion,no money,no selfworth-but they still hang on to it! I want to puke...If at least they tried and failed...But maybe they don´t think they are allowed to do something else.Like;it is a crime to feel your blood in your veenes.Someone´s gonna kill you if you BECOME someone.Who?Big brother?The one who founded communism? I like Lisa Jimenez words:Your heart thinks. And your heart is NOT the founder of those communities!!!

  13. Sometimes it’s quite apparent; other times, it’s below the surface. Spending your life trying to please others always ends up in dysfunctional behavior. Always
    Yes, yes, yes.

  14. I am pretty sure your therapist did not make money through NM,therefore a loser in your eyes.
    🙂

  15. first of all i really thank you to show us the right way to known ourself,the second this is really true answer,wowwwwwwwwwwww you are my hero randy thank you:)

  16. How about ending up hurting someone by trying to make them happy. My sister seems to have a very common single mom issue - wanting here child to be happy. She would do everything for him, never hold him responsible (might hurt his self esteem); didn't ask too much of him ... well you get the idea. Any guesses on how he turned out? Fortunatly he's still young and at 21 has been through the drug rehab and counciling. Looks like he has his life on track.
    When you are tempted to do something to make someone else happy ask yourself two questions.
    1. Am I really ending up hurting that person by helping to make them happy?
    2. How the hell do I even know what will make another person happy? Most of us don't even know what makes us happy!

  17. Yes, that is somehow the big question here. How do I know what makes other people happy? I can create my own happiness, that´s it. My mom has somehow tried to "help" me all her life. It didn´t help me a half second! It was more than terrible. I wish she had helped herself instead.And the more people need to help themselfes, the more they seam to desperatly try to help others.

  18. oh I am so fed up with all those psychoanalyzis about what becomes of kids with negative parents. for that matter i should be a totally screwed up person, considering my childhood. today i am a proud, healthy woman of 64. people find me very attractive and are extremely surprised that i made throuhg my childhood, or adolescence without any consumption of drugs or alcohol. my austrian white mother was raped in 1945 by an afro-american soldier, who was stationed near Lienz Austria. she was in love with a nazi soldier.. and they killed him in her arms, after they raped her, horror stories she tells me, but she still was sure to be pregnant of one of the 3 black soldiers,who evidently raped her. for 6 days i was a white baby, when suddenly my skin became darker and darker.. she must hate me still today..at the age of 3 my life was spent in homes, i recall i was the only child with black skin, which was very tough... i had foster parents in salzburg, austria and was adopted at the age of 14 (imagine??) by afro american parents in D.C. only because the majority of the austrian citizens wanted to get rid of me.. just as easy as that! even today i do not suffer from my past, cause i live today and not yesterday or tomorrow.. i avoid reading all about those psychoanaylitics etc... ok i did some therapy only because when my son started to make life difficult for me as a single mother. he is the one who became an alcoholic and takes drugs and has been diagnosed as being schizophrenic...he started to smoke pot excessively, of course with school friends ...i do not recall that anybody around me during my childhood was an alcoholic or whatever .....all my friends can't understand why my son turned out like that, since they claim that with my background i should be the one with such a low self esteem. but believe me, it helped me a lot to feel always proud of myself, people in austria made me feel i was something special because of my beautiful brown skin. discrimination was all over at that time... but since i played in hair the hippy musical and with donna summer, where many of the ensemble was into heavy drugs etc.. but i refused and hated it...
    i was lucky in my life, i met very famous people and i survived new york city all alone from 66 to 1968...my mother is 83 now and broke up any contact with me.. so be it. i believe in myself first and than .... since Barak Obama became the first afro-american President, my self-esteem has reached to a maximum.. today i look up in the sky when walking the streets filled with white folks...
    on my website you can see my artwork and what i look like..

  19. To me, Randy's comment has to do with the character of people. A quality not teached to children in schools and through their parents. Why? Precisely because they can not give us what they don't have.

    I think that the current education systems continue to have many weaknesses in the training aspects of people and their teach. The emotional aspects practically are not taking importance in its real magnitude and handled by only the very subjective points that do not reach the minds of children and teenagers in training or teaches.

    In my particular case, reading today, I shall simply admit that I just removed a bandage from my eyes.

    Reading your article felt full identification in your description. I have no choice and tilt my head and accept that I have often been the case. A person who wanted to feel good all over the world. Well suited to the circumstances. But I also recognize that every time I learn to be more critical of life and feel that I advance. Still, I recognize that I often affect people's comments and I try to be right with the world.

    I'm working on building my character.

    So ... let's continue in the revolution and continue to be adding more people every day to be more critical and reflective thinking about different aspects of life.

    From Cali, Colombia,

    -GJ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • Generic selectors
    Exact matches only
    Search in title
    Search in content
    Post Type Selectors
  • Stay Connected

    Subscribe to Randy’s Blog via Email

  • Recent Posts

  • 24 comments on “Helping Others Vs. Dysfunction”

    1. RG,

      This is beautifully written:
      "And because they don’t look after their own needs first, they really can’t help others in a healthy way. They can console them, participate in their drama, or enable their co-dependence, but they can’t offer them real, meaningful help."

      I have spent 16 yrs. helping single adults. How would I even dare attempt that unless I made sure I had something to offer them?
      I am not the drama queen, which I have stated before, nor do I partake in ANY of it.
      When I took a spiritual gifts test, my mercy level was low. I was shocked! Then I realized that as soon as someone tells me their dilemma, I never get caught up in the moment/drama, but immediately look for solutions. (maybe that is the critical care nurse gene in me, IDK) Not solutions that I have to provide for them, but solutions that they themselves can accomplish and do. Even if these are tiny steps....I do not encourage them to stay in the moment.
      Don't get me wrong...I am an extremely, compassionate, giver, servant & lover of people. My "enabler" switch is just OFF! (I don't even know if I ever had one!)

      I appreciate you & thanks for a great post!!
      g

    2. You summed it up well "spending your life trying to please others always ends up in dysfunctional behavior". I am guilty of this and continually catch myself wanting to please others when it's not really what I want to do....why does one feel this way (no abusive parents...) and fall into this trap so easily?

    3. I've been reading your posts for a long time and this time the light bulb went off. Shit! I realized that I'm a people pleaser. Not to the extreme but I still participate in that world. Shit! Time for a change. Ye-ha! Thanks-RG.

      You can believe something, but not until you know, that is when life changes.

    4. "If not, they edit it, so the only things they say are things that make people happy. (This is a defense mechanism they developed in childhood to avoid getting ridiculed, punished, or even beaten.)

      So they go through their whole life with this social anxiety, always worrying about how people will react to what they say. It makes them totally neurotic, and drives their self-esteem into the basement.

      Sometimes it’s quite apparent; other times, it’s below the surface. Spending your life trying to please others always ends up in dysfunctional behavior. Always."

      Were you thinking of me when you wrote this or something??? lol. It did drive my self esteem into the basement and I felt totally surpressed.
      I'm in the process of trying to express not surpress now and stop the editing.
      Any advice you can give RG?

    5. "They smile about everything, continuously compliment those around them, and spend their days telling everybody around them exactly what they want to hear. It’s like they have a computer screen in their mind that previews everything they say before they say it. They scan it first to make sure that it will be what the person they are talking to wants to hear. If not, they edit it, so the only things they say are things that make people happy. "

      > It sounds like selling...which is different from sharing or marketing or engaging.

    6. From a certain perspective everyone is selling something.

      Some sell their pity parties and how life is unfair [to them] ...

      Some sell how great .....

      Some are pied pipers to a land of prosperity....

      Thanks Randy for offering a land of prosperity of my choosing.

    7. Randy,

      I agree with you in partiality. One must look after there needs IN CONJUNCTION with the needs of those whom they are caring for. It is not possible nor realistic to asssume that one will always have the time to think of themselves first. Being of a servant mentality is the ability to take care of both yourself and others.

      I speak from the position of experience as a single mother of four children. There are times when one is able to look after themselves first but the most critical element in my experience is to ensure the DAILY you take care of yourself-whether that be in the morning or in the eveing..

      food for thought.

      Sheila

    8. The clear logic - if you dont take care of your needs, never take any decisions, never give your own view to things, never say NO to anything- then you become nobody. And how terrible it is, you can only feel it when you really were somebody at the beginning but people treat you like none because you haven´t lived your life out of your true forces.Because your forces could not work from inside and out. I guess that is "hell on earth". But it is simple, I mean you can change it quickly, it is not a hard work.People just don´t know that this work excists. Don´t know that there is a way out. I think many problems in the world come from this ; we don´t know that there is another way to go.Thanks Randy, YOU ARE GREAT!

    9. it's the airplane thing - you gotta put on your own mask first - if you suffocate you're no good to anyone - including yourself.

      somewhere along the way 'selfish' came to have such a negative connotation - when actually it simply means to take care of the self... have never been able to figure out how that could be a bad thing.

    10. yeah randy that's so so true.
      i never allow myself to deny my identity, my values, my personality or anything else on behalf of the love I have for someone.
      That's def.
      when people try to do this to me I just expand my awareness because if i commit to those people they can give me some unecessary headaches.:

      --> "I've given to you, now it's your turn to compensate me.!"

      and that is so dumb, i hate that way of being.
      these type of personalities are losers from the start. They only attract manipulative people for their lives, fake friendships, pathetic affairs or marriages or any other king of social relationships...

      result: low scores in the prosperity IQ test.
      Luv ya God bless you

    11. As the child of an alcoholic I too have had years of therapy to break the patterns set up by that experience.
      I am a therapist myself now and have a couple of clients - so called spiritual ones - who think they are being so spiritual by helping others first before themselves. They are ill, depressed, angry, broke and wonder why! (And yes I have recommended your book several times to them, tho they still haven't bought it). If they don't want to change I end the sessions with them. Some people think I am hard, but my job is to help people empower themselves and become independent not co-dependent and hooked into victimhood. Their need to help others is simply a distraction from having to deal with their own stuff, it doesn't serve them or the ones they are trying to help.

    12. Sounds great! I have also been to communitys where people believe in something and think that beleive is enough for a lifetime...well I don´t know but the force they hang on to is NOT HEALTHY.And there life is a somehow a shame for the humanity:No progress,no passion,no money,no selfworth-but they still hang on to it! I want to puke...If at least they tried and failed...But maybe they don´t think they are allowed to do something else.Like;it is a crime to feel your blood in your veenes.Someone´s gonna kill you if you BECOME someone.Who?Big brother?The one who founded communism? I like Lisa Jimenez words:Your heart thinks. And your heart is NOT the founder of those communities!!!

    13. Sometimes it’s quite apparent; other times, it’s below the surface. Spending your life trying to please others always ends up in dysfunctional behavior. Always
      Yes, yes, yes.

    14. I am pretty sure your therapist did not make money through NM,therefore a loser in your eyes.
      🙂

    15. first of all i really thank you to show us the right way to known ourself,the second this is really true answer,wowwwwwwwwwwww you are my hero randy thank you:)

    16. How about ending up hurting someone by trying to make them happy. My sister seems to have a very common single mom issue - wanting here child to be happy. She would do everything for him, never hold him responsible (might hurt his self esteem); didn't ask too much of him ... well you get the idea. Any guesses on how he turned out? Fortunatly he's still young and at 21 has been through the drug rehab and counciling. Looks like he has his life on track.
      When you are tempted to do something to make someone else happy ask yourself two questions.
      1. Am I really ending up hurting that person by helping to make them happy?
      2. How the hell do I even know what will make another person happy? Most of us don't even know what makes us happy!

    17. Yes, that is somehow the big question here. How do I know what makes other people happy? I can create my own happiness, that´s it. My mom has somehow tried to "help" me all her life. It didn´t help me a half second! It was more than terrible. I wish she had helped herself instead.And the more people need to help themselfes, the more they seam to desperatly try to help others.

    18. oh I am so fed up with all those psychoanalyzis about what becomes of kids with negative parents. for that matter i should be a totally screwed up person, considering my childhood. today i am a proud, healthy woman of 64. people find me very attractive and are extremely surprised that i made throuhg my childhood, or adolescence without any consumption of drugs or alcohol. my austrian white mother was raped in 1945 by an afro-american soldier, who was stationed near Lienz Austria. she was in love with a nazi soldier.. and they killed him in her arms, after they raped her, horror stories she tells me, but she still was sure to be pregnant of one of the 3 black soldiers,who evidently raped her. for 6 days i was a white baby, when suddenly my skin became darker and darker.. she must hate me still today..at the age of 3 my life was spent in homes, i recall i was the only child with black skin, which was very tough... i had foster parents in salzburg, austria and was adopted at the age of 14 (imagine??) by afro american parents in D.C. only because the majority of the austrian citizens wanted to get rid of me.. just as easy as that! even today i do not suffer from my past, cause i live today and not yesterday or tomorrow.. i avoid reading all about those psychoanaylitics etc... ok i did some therapy only because when my son started to make life difficult for me as a single mother. he is the one who became an alcoholic and takes drugs and has been diagnosed as being schizophrenic...he started to smoke pot excessively, of course with school friends ...i do not recall that anybody around me during my childhood was an alcoholic or whatever .....all my friends can't understand why my son turned out like that, since they claim that with my background i should be the one with such a low self esteem. but believe me, it helped me a lot to feel always proud of myself, people in austria made me feel i was something special because of my beautiful brown skin. discrimination was all over at that time... but since i played in hair the hippy musical and with donna summer, where many of the ensemble was into heavy drugs etc.. but i refused and hated it...
      i was lucky in my life, i met very famous people and i survived new york city all alone from 66 to 1968...my mother is 83 now and broke up any contact with me.. so be it. i believe in myself first and than .... since Barak Obama became the first afro-american President, my self-esteem has reached to a maximum.. today i look up in the sky when walking the streets filled with white folks...
      on my website you can see my artwork and what i look like..

    19. To me, Randy's comment has to do with the character of people. A quality not teached to children in schools and through their parents. Why? Precisely because they can not give us what they don't have.

      I think that the current education systems continue to have many weaknesses in the training aspects of people and their teach. The emotional aspects practically are not taking importance in its real magnitude and handled by only the very subjective points that do not reach the minds of children and teenagers in training or teaches.

      In my particular case, reading today, I shall simply admit that I just removed a bandage from my eyes.

      Reading your article felt full identification in your description. I have no choice and tilt my head and accept that I have often been the case. A person who wanted to feel good all over the world. Well suited to the circumstances. But I also recognize that every time I learn to be more critical of life and feel that I advance. Still, I recognize that I often affect people's comments and I try to be right with the world.

      I'm working on building my character.

      So ... let's continue in the revolution and continue to be adding more people every day to be more critical and reflective thinking about different aspects of life.

      From Cali, Colombia,

      -GJ

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    © 2020 Prosperity Factory, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Legal Information, Sitemap, Site by PrimeConcepts