Photo by lalesh aldarwish

In today’s age, everyone has become an expert. People have opinions, aren’t afraid to share them, and are careless of their approach. They’ve forgotten the crucial fact that help works best without superiority.

According to scientific evidence, people are intuitively kind. It’s human to be kind and display acts of altruism. Whenever in the position to make snap judgments, people are likely to be generous, showing their remarkable capacity to be selfless than the opposite. When given the opportunity to help, people will be more than willing to jump in and offer a hand. Kindness exceedingly aligns with human nature, that even without being asked, people may provide help whenever they deem it necessary.

But this initiative, no matter how well-intended, has possible consequences.

“It’s hard to be receptive to the moralistic scolding and patronizing encouragement
offered endlessly by the allegedly well-meaning.” – Tom Shales, American critic.

Whenever people offer help, the gesture is bound to get misunderstood. Regardless of how pure people’s intentions are, the receiver still has the complete hold of interpretation. They may misjudge the other’s actions, accusing them of selfish ulterior motives. Often, this misjudgment is purely an error from one’s understanding, but others do this consciously. This twists an action done without superiority, the kindness of one’s behavior, to fit another’s judgmental observations.

Does this mean offering help to others is futile?

Help Despite Misjudgment

When it’s easy to view one’s kindness as scornful and attack when offered help, people must remember to stay kind. Regardless of intentions are questioned, people must still offer help as long as their motives remain pure. People help because they want to relieve another’s suffering, not because they want their validation. Rejection can be disheartening. But it shouldn’t stop people from being kind to each other.

In Jamie’s bookshelf about encouraging others, the author provides a collection of books to persuade people to volunteer and devote their time to various areas of the church. Primarily, these books are religious. They’re geared to encourage people to be more active in their churches by serving the Lord and their communities. Jamie’s encouraging words and wisdom isn’t only limited to religious endeavors. They can also apply to life in general.

Jamie’s collection of books teaches readers that encouragement helps and works if intentions are pure.

People may decline to help prove their independence. They may misinterpret kindness without superiority as a disservice. But all of these may also be facades people put up for self-preservation. The more people are sincere in their help, the more they’ll successfully tear down these facades, revealing people’s vulnerability.

Pause Before Helping

So far, the discussion revolves around people’s misjudgment of intention and decline of help. We’ve failed to consider the possibility that they don’t need help. Often, people can be too stuck in offering assistance that they fail to see whether it’s necessary. When people offer help, others look at it negatively, even if the gesture is made without superiority.

This may also be the primary reason why people interpret the offer negatively. When they’re given the solution, even without them asking for it, it may have implied that others think they aren’t capable. There’s a delicate balance between providing genuine help and being patronizing. Everybody may want or need help. But nobody wants to receive it if it conveys or implies their insufficiency or inadequacy.

Helping may entirely be a personal choice. It’s done based on who people are and the person they want to be. But this doesn’t mean people’s feelings shouldn’t be considered when deciding. How this help is offered should also matter to take into consideration how the other might react.

Help Without Superiority

The first step to avoiding superiority or being patronizing is always asking for help. This clarifies whether the receiving end wants help or prefers solving things their way. By respectfully asking the individual, people aren’t only acting without superiority and respecting the other’s boundaries. Asking for consent conveys a willingness not to overstep where they’re only needed. This way of offering help means empathy instead of looking down on what the other can do.