Our Human Need To Help

Where does our need to help come from as humans? Do we help when we see someone hurting or in trouble? What is help?

When does help become unwanted or intrusive?


Sometimes my own help comes from a heart-centred place, a place where I feel someone is hurting and calling out for help on some level. Often though I tried to help when the person had not asked for help.

I feel sometimes we feel we know the answers to another’s suffering or pain. We know what has worked for us yet we forget it may not work for another. Everyone comes from a whole different life experience. We see differently, feel differently, hear differently. And we heal and balance differently. My process of coming home to who I really am may differ from yours.

I remember doing  a workshop once on emotional intimacy. We were talking about life experiences and a lady began to cry. Immediately the woman next to her put her hand on the lady. And we had been guided not to do this by the workshop tutor. She made the point that sometimes the tears need to flow and when someone comes up to hug us or offer us help it stops our own processing, our own flow. This made a lot of sense to me.

Léopold Langlois

Sometimes I cry like a banshee. It tends to be when I really need to release something inside me. It’s a grieving of sorts, a real inner need to let go on a very deep level. Now, I know I can do this alone and I also know I can do it when my friend Mike is with me. He holds me and I feel safe to completely let go and scream it out. He offers no solutions, no suggestions, just open hearted beingness.
With someone else it would not be the same. For example, people that may never reveal feelings or emotions or people you simply do not know well, you probably could not let go with them. In the intimacy group, the woman who touched the lady crying did indeed stop that woman’s process. She was told by the woman what that had done for her. The comforting, albeit well-meaning lady took it as an insult and stormed out of the group.

Are We Problem-Solving Entities?

Mike has told me off many a time when he is simply wanting to share his feelings. He may be upset or hurting in some way. Instead of just hearing him my ego goes into thinking of ways it can help, ways to sort out his problems. Our humanity seems to make us problem-solving entities.  Or do we make problems to solve so we have no need to be fully in the present moment? Do we create relationships and friendships sometimes with people with ‘issues’ so we can feel useful? What are your relationships and family connections like?
I know my family has a lot of drama. They relate through the drama. Be it health or emotional drama, it’s still drama. It was easy to feel I belonged when I engaged in the drama, when I shared the issues I had and we all got dramatic together.
Now, I share little about my own human experiences, because I want to be able to work things out on my own. Too much interference can cause confusion for me and I lose touch with my own inner wisdom.
However, sometimes I forget and share at more vulnerable times and I often regret it. Sometimes during certain hormonal periods of the month I feel more vulnerable, sensitive, open and tearful. I made a pact with myself not to share my feelings when in this space. Sometimes I forget. And it
is times like that I ask for help and when I do I realise nobody knows me better than me.
What’s it like to feel truly heard? Wonderful! How often do we offer this gift to others? How often do we receive it ourselves?
Sometimes we may share our feelings and receive help and suggestions from others and it helps. Some of the time it can make one feel rather insecure and small. I know I have felt like this on many a occasion. Often when people do not know you very well the well meaning suggestions can seem loving but it can come across like that person knows more about your process than you do.  It’s hard to get a balance in human connection.
Sometimes I would like to simply share and be heard. And most of all to share without needing to say “I need to share, please don’t offer me suggestions or solutions”. It’s not always that easy though. People like to connect through offering support.
I would like a balance in my life. Where I can receive loving positive human connection. Yet for it to come from a place of balance. Instead of coming from a place of challenge, or issues, or suffering.
If we keep our difficult feelings to ourselves, are we coming across as less human? If we no longer share our difficulties,can people still relate to us? If we do not ask for help or support from humanity,will humanity still be there for us?
I guess during any painful experience or any type of suffering if we are not fully centred in our own being its quite easy to ask others to be a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen.
I used to be someone that went to everyone for answers and help and support. If it was not friends it was teachers, if it was not teachers it was gurus. I know personally this is no longer working for me.  I guess its time for me to speak only what empowers me and to no longer share that which does not.
We can come together in our humanity through love, beingness and heart.  We don’t need to come together through drama, suffering or fear anymore.
Kelly Martin
Kelly Martin

Kelly Martin, author of ‘When Everyone Shines But You’ is a dedicated writer and blogger who fearlessly explores life’s deepest questions. Faced with a decade of profound anxiety and grief following the loss of her father and her best friend Michael, Kelly embarked on a transformative journey guided by mindfulness, and she hasn’t looked back since. Through her insightful writing, engaging podcasts, and inspiring You Tube channel Kelly empowers others to unearth the hidden treasures within their pain, embracing the profound truth that they are ‘enough’ exactly as they are.

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  1. February 5, 2012 / 4:45 pm

    Great post Kelly. I know I need to listen more and talk less. If a person talks to me about a problem I immediately try to think of a solution. If a person is crying I want to put my arm around them to show my compassion. I had a friend who sadly died last year and she wasn't a demonstrative person. I could sense that she was feeling very alone but instead of just putting my arm around her I said ' Do you want me to give you a hug?' and she responded with a 'yes please, I love getting hugs'. So I do hug people and give them my opinions but usually I ask them if they want my hugs or opinions without automatically assuming they do!

    • March 18, 2012 / 4:28 pm

      Yes,that is me too Simone. I really need to keep focuse sometimes. It is very wise to ask first, I am still learning this 🙂

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