When you rush in and interfere in another person’s affairs (regardless your intention), in an attempt to “help or save” him or her. Often is a quick and efficient way to lose or place such a relationship under tremendous stress. Thus, if anybody wants help, s/he must ask for it first.
When you rush in and help someone not asking for your help, you prevent him/her from sorting out his/her own problem situation, which might be a valuable learning opportunity for him/her. When you offer help too quickly, you do not allow the individual to take up responsibility for his/her choices, accept accountability for his/her actions and commit him/herself to overcome the obstacle.
When you eagerly rush in and help others, without being requested first, you become an enabler (effectively supporting him/her to continue as is), instead of a facilitator that support and assist him/her in accepting the responsibility to solve his/her own problems. It is considered bad manners to rush in uninvited, and most likely your help will be either be ignored or your assistance will not be appreciated, judged and “attacked“.
However, you need to use your common sense, monitor the context and evaluate the dynamics. You cannot apply the rule of request as a steadfast rule, as if cast in stone – waiting till someone ask before you help – you assist unconditionally in an emergency (crisis) e.g. when someone is drowning, you help and don’t wait for a request to assist. You steer a blind person around a hole in the pavement, that s/he is unaware of. A heart attack requires immediate CPR.
Always consider the circumstances. When a person is experience a life crisis (that can lead to death, injury or could harm others) assist immediately. E.g. drowning, suicide, high jacking, drug addiction, …etc. – for the rest – only offer compassionate guidance (warnings), AND wait for a request to help. If help is requested, by him/her …HELP… else let the person bears the consequences of his/her actions.
When a person experience a difficult situation (crises) at work (or in his/her personal life), the learning and experience s/he gains from dealing with it, may be the perfect stepping stone s/he needs, to move on in his/her career or personal life. Therefore, adopt an attitude of standing by with compassion and patience, and “watch” the person making a mess of things. Not only is it bad manners to interfere (when not life threatening, I must emphasize), but interference also prevents the person from becoming stronger, to learn, gain valuable experiences, becomes responsible, accept accountability and committed.
There are times when it is appropriate to ask and offer help. By asking, NOT screaming with frustration (throwing a tantrum) like a victim who does not want to take any responsibility for their actions, BUT by carefully assessing the situation and then calmly and with inner strength request the help needed.
Some people are constantly screaming for help, what, when where how, who, where? Why me? This is not requests for help, rather a seeking of recipes, simple answers and an opportunity to transfer responsibility and accountability to someone else (the foundation of the blaming game).
It is only when a person is able to formulate the real question (e.g. NOT How can I be more efficient/productive?, BUT rather.. How can time management/ project planning make me more efficient/productive?) that s/he is ready to know the answer or receive help. When you offer help (on request) and it is accepted, that becomes a “contract” of cooperation and sharing. But if you offer …and offer …and offer until it is accepted, that is negative pressure (quite often done to protect yourself) and will not work in the end to improve circumstances, establish the required mentality and restore a harmonious environmental fit.
Asking for help (seeking an answer) lies in the request (question) for help. The more clarity in the request, the fuller and more beneficial the help, guidance or assistance you can offer.