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People with "helping" personalities

I work with a guy who prides himself on being a "helper" and "helping" people who work under him become better at their jobs.

Maybe I am a cynic, but the way I see him operate reveals he is mostly a control freak who likes people to be dependent on him. He has no boundaries and his "helping" eventually becomes smothering. When the employee he is working with suddenly shows independence, he gets threatened.

Do you know anyone like this? Do you think "helping" personalities like this thrive on power?

by Anonymousreply 7202/26/2021

Yeah, the guy I work with like this is trying to over-compensate for his lack of chops. Everybody hates him except our boss becuse the guy works 24/7 & is a total loser without a life.

by Anonymousreply 110/11/2018

Some do. It depends on whether it is a (fairly rare) genuine helper, or the more common variety who wrap a narcissistic personality disorder in a blanket of altruism.

I've encountered plenty of the latter, but only one of the former: a ward sister in the hospital where I first practiced as a psychotherapist, and who adopted all the new clinical staff as nieces or nephews. You could see her practically bursting with pride and happiness when she saw one of her fledglings go off into the wide world after completing their internship. Lovely woman, and I still miss her.

by Anonymousreply 210/11/2018

Interesting, r2. My late grandmother was a helper (also served in the Army Nurse Corps in WWII). I consider her one of the genuine helpers. When she passed away some 20 years ago, I couldn't believe the number of people she had helped over the years who contacted our family.

by Anonymousreply 310/11/2018

If he proclaims it publicly, that means he's anything but

by Anonymousreply 410/11/2018

Meant to sign r3 as OP

by Anonymousreply 510/11/2018

R3, that's sweet. When Sister Murphy died in 2001 the church was overflowing with the people she had supported on their way. I'm sure she got something out of it (in fact it is evident that she did), but I'm equally sure her motives were nothing other than good and honest. As I said, lovely woman.

by Anonymousreply 610/11/2018

Personally, I really don't like helping people.

by Anonymousreply 710/11/2018

r7 your syntax is unclear.

by Anonymousreply 810/12/2018

As someone who doesn't possess a single nurturing bone in my body, I'm always amazed that there are people in the world who actually enjoy helping others.

I wonder if there's a correlation between introverts ("Get the fuck away") and extroverts ("Can I be of assistance?") in this sort of thing.

by Anonymousreply 910/12/2018

I love to help others, but all I do is offer my assistance and the other party can choose whether to decline or take advantage of my offer.

by Anonymousreply 1010/12/2018

[quote] Do you know anyone like this? Do you think "helping" personalities like this thrive on power?

Sure, there are people who thrive on making themselves look superior, and everybody else inferior, that way. Usually they are passive agressive douchebags who demand grateful credit for the rest of the day / project meetings.

But there are also genuine helpers and mentors who thrive on watching those, they helped, succeed.

by Anonymousreply 1110/12/2018

My mother is like this. Smothering and an absolute martyr when it comes to her family.

She doesn’t seem to realise that she’s making excuses to get out of having her own life and taking care of herself by running around after my lazy gross father, my demanding crone grandmother, and my finicky closet-case cousins. It’s actually depressing as fuck to watch someone run around like a headless chicken.

by Anonymousreply 1210/12/2018

R11 said "But there are also genuine helpers and mentors who thrive on watching those, they helped, succeed."

I knew someone like this and while I would mostly applaud his efforts, he seemed to operate an a higher moral plane than the rest of us. Let me put it this way: he would not approve of the DL - it would be beneath him.

It also made his occasional deviations from said elevated state all the more obvious, making people think; "Oh, acting just as mean and grubby as the rest of us today? Get back on your pedestal."

by Anonymousreply 1310/12/2018

akin to the dreaded 'rescuers', who get off on being a hero. I completely closed down a friendship with someone who thought I needed rescuing after the death of my long-term partner. He acted as if he owned me, and was always suggesting things I should do, places I should go, etc. to have fun/feel better. He has never been partnered and is ten years younger than me, so WTF? After a year of dealing with both the grief and his intrusiveness, I just told him he seemed to want more of my attention than I could give. He really WAS a smug motherfucker who thought he had it all figured out. Good riddance. Go rescue someone else. Funny thing is, he was really kind of fucked up and needed to take a good, hard look at himself, but he was too busy being a busybody.

by Anonymousreply 1410/12/2018

I think that applies to most "rescuers" r14

by Anonymousreply 1510/12/2018

It's called building a patronage network. It's been a thing for millennia.

by Anonymousreply 1610/12/2018

Professionally, I've encountered a guy who is superficially helpful but it is really an ego stroke for him. If you don't kiss his ring he becomes condescending and high-handed. So eventually you're like "bitch, sit down" even though initially the relationship started with him being helpful.

by Anonymousreply 1710/12/2018

That sounds like the guy I work with r17

by Anonymousreply 1810/12/2018

Generosity is spelled with a very small "g" in this world. It's one of two things. They either want to fuck you, or they're fucking with you. Whenever I come near someone extending a generosity, no matter how benign, I run for the hills. Life is filled with tit for tatters and score keepers. Narcissistic personality is no longer an oddity, it's becoming the norm. How they operate is when they're offering something to you, they're getting double back. That's how they control you and incur accountability. Someone naïve doesn't even realize it's happening. I don't accept presents. I don't accept free bees, and I'm wary of invites. God helps those who help themselves. If I needed assistance that badly, I'd rather pay.

by Anonymousreply 1910/12/2018
by Anonymousreply 2010/12/2018

So r19 you certainly have a dark, cynical view of the world. Unfortunately, I am becoming more aware that we live in a dark, cynical world.

by Anonymousreply 2110/12/2018

R21 Maybe if you're a 9 or 10 in the looks department, things will appear a little more generous and affable to you. For a time. When the 9 and the 10 becomes 6 and 7, the real Mr. Universe will preen and show you his true colors. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. That's life.

by Anonymousreply 2210/19/2018

I knew a woman like this. I was in between jobs and she gave me some dumb position at a Kumon center. I made a mistake grading one of the worksheets and she went off on me. She was going on and on about how she likes helping people and how she can't help me get a job with one of the rich parent's businesses.

I try my best to stay away from those people. She had such an ego about her.

by Anonymousreply 2310/19/2018

The Worst Kind of Helper

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2410/19/2018

Sounds like a Libra

by Anonymousreply 2510/19/2018

When I first met my best friend (who is 10 years older than me) 28 years ago, she constantly gave me advice. We couldn't get through one conversation without her offering me advice. It really put me off, and I almost ended the friendship. One day she asked me if something was wrong, and I came clean. I told her, just because you are older than me doesn't mean I am asking or need or want your advice. I already have a mother, I don't need another. I'm so glad we had that talk, I don't know what I would do without her in my life. She listened and heard me and stopped with the unsolicited advice. That said, when I DO need advice, hers is always sound and wise.

by Anonymousreply 2610/19/2018


R22's next utterance will be "it puts the lotion in the basket..."

by Anonymousreply 2710/19/2018

Yeah, R27, I didn't understand one word of that gobble-de -gook either.

by Anonymousreply 2810/19/2018

R26 It's good you're still friends, but I've found that unsolicited advice is a high sign of ego and control. It's not about the person really wanting to help you, it's making himself feel powerful and more knowledgeable than you. Beware of people like that. Their motives are not always in your best interests.

by Anonymousreply 2910/19/2018

I don't think any of us with a generous spirit should stop being generous. However, we should be a lot more cautious of who we give our generosity to.

by Anonymousreply 3010/19/2018

i have built in empathy and some kind of off the wall maternal thing going on and i don't have spawn. i am always for the underdog. BUT

i learned you are wasting your time trying to 'help' anyone who doesn't want to be helped or is not ready to accept help. every man for himself!! (kidding).... you can rarely 'solve' anyone else's problems or dilemmas.....i think we all have enough of our own to keep us busy for a few lifetimes.

by Anonymousreply 3110/19/2018

R27 R28 Let's reword this to suit your reading level. When you're young and a fucking hottie, you'll have a lot more helping hands around you. When your looks go to shit, you'll learn the truth of the world. Questions?

by Anonymousreply 3210/19/2018

God, it's the supervisor of my department. She has her finger in EVERY pie, down to the fucking holiday decorations. That she hangs HERSELF. I hate her guts. Preacher's daughter, liar, egomaniac, buttinski, blocker.

Main reason I became a contractor, now I work from home so I don't have to watch her in action.

by Anonymousreply 3310/19/2018

Thread has made me reflect. I am a super helper when it comes to crisis in my family. Now I have taken charge of my brothers cancer care and am reflecting if any part of the helping is to get “credit” or appreciation rather than pure altruism. I never questioned it as a choice - once diagnosed, I became Mr. Research /problem solver. But I’m trying to make sure I am truly helping and not controlling and looking for acknowledgement - or maybe comfort for myself because by helping, I’m distracting from dealing with the reality of his dying. Sometimes hard to be fully aware of the line between altruism and narcissism.

by Anonymousreply 3410/19/2018

I just read that narcissists love to give advice ...

by Anonymousreply 3510/21/2018

take my advice...i'm not using it.

by Anonymousreply 3610/21/2018

R34 , you don't sound like a narcissist.

by Anonymousreply 3710/21/2018

Sorry for bumping an old thread, but better than starting a new one ...

I think some helpers are trying to fill an emptiness in another part of their life. I recently met someone like this. I'm sure she is a great person, and she is very helpful (she is a college instructor). She has few boundaries with her helping it seems. But ... it also seems so much that I wonder if this is her whole life/identity, and she doesn't have other things that bring her meaning.

A long time ago, a friend had a theory about helpers: he believed many of them suffer from low-grade depression and low self-esteem, and when they help, they instantly feel their mood elevated and their self image improve.

by Anonymousreply 3802/18/2021

I grew up with a totally classic narcissistic mom. Groomed from birth, was I. Dad not only allowed it, but encouraged it. So I was programmed.

Now, I know a narc when I see one. Covert or overt & I ain't giving you the time of day

Someone on a forum years ago nabbed them. Ticket punched. Here's what she said

• they don't like to work-but take credit for things they haven't done • they pity themselves • depraved imitation of a human

• feelings of truth like giving up control for the pathological liar

• they never or rarely do things for others

Get the fuck out my way, lazy loser

by Anonymousreply 3902/18/2021

I read this as “helping disabilities”, oh man you know what kinda gay I am...

by Anonymousreply 4002/18/2021

I mostly agree with R19. The one exception would be healthy parent/child relationships, which can approach real altruism. But how many of those are there in the world?

My own father and his wife are very manipulative and love sending elaborate gifts for every occasion. But they are shockingly rude and offensive (a la Trump) any time we actually see them. So we don’t see them much.

Thing is, they don’t care and are relieved not to have to spend time with my dad’s kids or grandkids. But they need that little injection of superiority they feel from sending “generous” gifts. I’m sure they enjoy tsk, tsking over the fact we don’t reciprocate as grandly (though we do reciprocate.)

Here’s where it gets interesting: my sister in law is a similarly miserable, grumbling type who ALSO has a martyr complex. She is a nurse and complains non-stop about her job. They live near my parents. It will be interesting to see how those relationships shake out over the years.

by Anonymousreply 4102/18/2021

I find a lot of nurses have issues, r41

by Anonymousreply 4202/18/2021

My sister is a partner in a nyc law firm. Loves to rescue, and then enslave people. In a lesbian relationship but fucks her younger male associates, even married ones. She’s homely and fat.

Has a weird charisma and many friends. Acts goofy and humble yet is a ferocious trial attorney.

Is the Queen of our lower middle class family.

I had a lifetime of blurred lines with her. I’ve attempted suicide.

After 2 years of excellent therapy, I went no contact 5 years ago.

Only regret is I wish I’d ended it sooner.

by Anonymousreply 4302/18/2021

r43 are you a man or a woman?

Just curious about the sibling dynamic

by Anonymousreply 4402/18/2021

I am a man and she is 15 yes older. She sexually abused me as a child and was emotionally smothering until I cut her out.

by Anonymousreply 4502/18/2021

I’m R43

by Anonymousreply 4602/18/2021

Yes R42, but how do you explain to others how you met your siblings on Dad's side? The torch ceremony, the catching crabs underneath the Robert Moses bridge..all brought to you by Yours Truly, Young Nuk-Nuk.

Every day an adventure. Paint me the crazy ex, unstable.LOL. You can't spin those reunion stories. People see through that

And then you went & shit all over it

You must be kicking yourself about right now

by Anonymousreply 4702/18/2021

R38 this is a good thread and I’ve never seen it before. Thanks for bumping! i’m learning a lot.

by Anonymousreply 4802/18/2021

You're welcome, r48!

by Anonymousreply 4902/18/2021

I mentioned this in the "How to end a destructive relationship?" thread: one of the things that kept sucking me in was expensive gifts and big favors. In that way, he was very generous and helpful.

But it created a kind of indebtedness and, by extension, control.

The thing about helping is that it usually positions the helper as dominate/more powerful -- to a greater or lesser degree -- than the one being helped.

by Anonymousreply 5002/19/2021

[quote]If he proclaims it publicly, that means he's anything but

I agree with R4. Perfect example are the leaders who claim they are "player / coaches." They're just looking to control and make sure their theories are repeated ad nauseum without encouraging critical thinking or shared ideas among students. It's all about the 'helper.'

by Anonymousreply 5102/19/2021

Helpers can also be passive-aggressive martyrs

by Anonymousreply 5202/19/2021

For me, it sits on the razor’s edge of hypomania - “I can do anything for mutual benefit and a better you makes us better” turns into “You’d be so much more perfect if your soul was six inches to the left (WTF?).”

There’s also a math component that irritates; I see an inequality and it bothers me. “Change the flaw and everything will work!” For whom?

It’s my ego that doesn’t even require positive experience to act as an authority on everyone. And, I have to create boundaries. And, I have to ask permission. And, I have to take “no” as an answer. And, “no” does not mean the relationship is over; it just means I’m pressing against a boundary and need to back my shit up.

by Anonymousreply 5302/19/2021

Do you try to rescue people, r53?

by Anonymousreply 5402/19/2021

R54, I can’t be so much better than others when I use “rescue”. I’ve helped people in times of crisis and I get bonus points if I dislike them.

by Anonymousreply 5502/19/2021

I knew one of the genuine helpers when I was young, she may have saved my life and my sanity.

She was a generation older than I, had no children, and like me she came from a very messed-up background. We both had a lot of work to do on ourselves, and unlike me, one of her ways of dealing with her issues was to help others. sometimes I't be so over the top it was almost ridiculous, she'd be extravagantly nice to strangers and service workers, but she also took a series of troubled young people from the area under her wing, and gave them the support and guidance they sure as hell weren't getting from their own families. She's gone now, but well, several of the young people she'd mentored met up in Antarctica a few years ago. At the time I thought "What a pity _____ isn't here to see this, we turned out okay and I think it's largely thanks to her".

by Anonymousreply 5602/19/2021

R56 "...met up in Antarctica a few years ago" More detail, please!

by Anonymousreply 5702/20/2021

What a beautiful post r56.

But I second r57 ... Antarctica?

by Anonymousreply 5802/20/2021

I have noticed, also, that a lot of "helpers" have poor boundaries, which would also confirm parts of r38

by Anonymousreply 5902/21/2021

My aunt, and it drives everyone crazy. Eventually you become her bullied lackey and flying monkey, or you cut her off. There's no in-between because the woman has zero boundaries. Of course everybody at her church thinks she's a saint because she just does EVERYthing, how COULD they manage without her??

by Anonymousreply 6002/21/2021

Meghan Markle

by Anonymousreply 6102/21/2021

These people are control freaks and like to be as contrarian as possible.

It’s sad, because when a person with healthy boundaries encounters them, they immediately recognize what’s going on and retreat.

You simply cannot have normal conversations with these folks, because as soon as you share something with them, they want to “help” by inserting their opinions and will into the situation.

It’s like walking on eggshells. And it’s really sad and troubling.

Just live and let live. Please do not demand that your will be done over the desires and goals or plans of another human being. It’s genuinely disrespectful and sometimes really scary.

It’s not normal and it’s not OK.

Positivity comes forth by encouraging others’ goals, not your own goals through them.

by Anonymousreply 6202/21/2021

Don't laugh, but I used to participate in informal group discussion to deal with grief & taking care of sick family members. There was one person in the group who stated, several times, that she participates in the group because she wants to "give back." Over time, I noticed that this same "giving back" person monopolized the group discussion. The group sessions were only about an hour long and, sometimes, because of her being long-winded, there wasn't enough time to hear from everybody in the circle.

by Anonymousreply 6302/21/2021

As a teacher I knew many teachers who genuinely helped others and inculcated independence and confidence. Whether or not I myself did that, I can't objectively judge. I don't give advice unless asked for. I do become a bit jealous of my friends, though, and that goes back to narcissistic parents.

by Anonymousreply 6402/21/2021

r64 ... are you me?

by Anonymousreply 6502/21/2021

I don't know, R65, are you a gorgeous and wonderful person? Then, yes.

by Anonymousreply 6602/21/2021

Haha, r66. Indeed!

by Anonymousreply 6702/21/2021

I guess it's not mutually exclusive ... I have known some wonderfully helpful teachers who were rather shitty people in their personal lives.

by Anonymousreply 6802/22/2021

R63 Was her name Meghan by any chance?

by Anonymousreply 6902/24/2021

OP if he prides himself about this, you are right.

by Anonymousreply 7002/24/2021

R68=Vili Fualaau

by Anonymousreply 7102/25/2021

LOL r71

by Anonymousreply 7202/26/2021
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