Sometimes, trying to help others can just be a move to be the alpha male (or female; women do this too). What’s an alpha? Someone who’s in control.
He called in distress. I listened. Finally, he said, “I really don’t know what to do.” I made a suggestion. He argued, defending his position. I knew at once that either
- he didn’t agree,
- he didn’t understand,
- he wasn’t willing to make a change, or,
- I hadn’t listened.
Here’s a clue: I got uncomfortable. I tried again. He raised more objections. I tried harder, but soon got bored; we were both looking for a way out.
The Tale Wagged
What was going on here? Well, lots of things, but from my side, here’s what didn’t work.
I wanted to feel good about myself more than I wanted to just be with him, in spite of his outcome.
I couldn’t tolerate my own failure at helping.
If, on the other hand, I could have accepted my failure to provide their answer, if I had just sat with his problem unsolved, I might have rescued this opportunity to be a friend.
Even if I couldn’t rescue him.