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What is the obsession with helping others and how can we overcome it?

Study guide

Today, around the world, the presence of counselors, psychologists and educators in life, work and study has become commonplace. These new changes in personal and work life have many benefits. One of the most important benefits is that people can admit their weaknesses without fear; But does having all this help and spiritual support also have a negative effect? Did you know that helping others can turn into obsession? In this article, we want to look at counseling and guidance in personal or work life from another perspective; We also offer solutions to overcome the obsession of helping others. Stay with us.

Recently, I read somewhere that someone said, “I’m addicted to counseling and I love to see others progress.” This quote, which seems to be a pervasive phenomenon among counselors, shows that although most of their goals and intentions are good, they may sometimes fall into the trap of wanting to over-advise.

The author of The Advice Trap, Michael Bongay Stanner, examines our inner obsession with counseling. “As soon as someone starts talking, the monster of advice inside us pops out of our subconscious, rubs his hands, and says, ‘Now I have to add a few golden points to this conversation!’ “The dangerous and hidden belief behind the monster of our advice is that we think we are better than others.”

Behavioral experts believe that “helping” has the potential to become addictive. When we help others, our brains release three chemicals that we usually call triple happiness:

  • Serotonin (Produces intense feelings of happiness);
  • Dopamine (increases motivation);
  • Oxytocin (Increases the sense of connection with others).

The good feeling that comes from combining these three makes us want to repeat it; But when our need to help others becomes so insatiable that we become obsessed with helping them, we no longer help those people but ourselves.

Psychologists call this problem helper addiction or White Knight Syndrome. White Knight Syndrome refers to the need to save others by helping with counseling, coaching, or commenting in order to strengthen a sense of arrogance. While those who have a healthy sense of helping others are happy to see the success of the people who have helped them. It does not matter to them whether those people have succeeded because of their help or alone. People with White Knight Syndrome feel anxious and depressed without helping others; In fact, they can not see their true and inner value.

If you also feel that your sense of pride overrides your innate sense of enjoyment of helping others, you can try the following methods to overcome your obsession with helping others.

Are you really obsessed with helping others?

The best way to find out if you are really obsessed with helping others is to look inside yourself and pay close attention to your mind. Ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly:

  • Do I feel anxious or aimless when I am not helping others?
  • Do I give advice on the pretext that I just want to help, without being asked?
  • Am I upset when I find out that the people I have consulted are more satisfied with someone else’s advice or have not consulted me about their problem?
  • Do I think my advice changes the lives of others and is critical to their success?
  • Do I feel complimented after giving advice and counseling, or do I need the person I helped to acknowledge that my advice was helpful?
  • Do I feel like I have made great sacrifices and been abused after a difficult period of helping others?

A positive answer to the above questions does not necessarily mean an obsession with helping others, but it can indicate that you need to be careful. If you answered all of the above questions in the affirmative, you need to think hard about overcoming the obsession with helping others.

Try to be a friend and companion, not a savior

To overcome obsession, try to be a friend, not a counselor

The best helpers are people who set their expectations from the beginning. One of the first limitations can be that “I will never be more concerned about your success than you are.” One of the obvious signs of over-helping others is when you help them too much.

If the mentor or counselor constantly reminds his clients of what he has done for them and sometimes even takes it upon himself to do some of the work, it is no longer an accompaniment. The White Knight wakes up inside the guide and counselor if he expects to hear something like, “The less I thank you, the less” or “you really saved me.”

Sometimes the people you help make mistakes. To be a better helper, you must allow them to face the consequences of their decisions and actions. Accepting clear and shared responsibilities turns success into shared results.

Avoid dependency by measuring progress

Consulting and coaching jobs have been criticized for following economic patterns and even looking for ways to earn extra money when clients no longer need consulting; But the main reason behind any consultant-client relationship is to help the person realize their progress.

On the other hand, the best counselor is the one who helps the person get to a point where he or she no longer needs counseling. Dependency, even if it temporarily makes you feel empowered, will ultimately only weaken the recipient.

To avoid this dependency, donors and counselors should measure progress using specified goals; For example, if a consultant works with an organizational leader to improve his or her ability to delegate tasks to others, he or she should measure his or her progress in terms of the situations and opportunities in which tasks are delegated. This ensures that there is progress.

Of course, it makes sense that new needs and opportunities for help arise, but the need to help with a particular issue over a long period of time indicates a lack of progress. This proves that both the counselor and the counselor are dependent on the counseling process (sometimes needing and being dependent on someone else is the easiest way to save).

Apply proper pressure

Measure their progress to overcome the obsession of helping others

One of the most common complaints we hear from clients is that they say, “My counselor did not put enough pressure on me. “We only talked during the consultation, but I did not feel challenged.”

Many people who work in counseling careers worry that if they are too honest, their relationship with the client will be jeopardized. Most counselors make excuses and say that I’m not sure they’re still ready to hear.

While we should be careful about giving bad news to people, we should also be aware of the importance of being honest with the people we work for. The value of a good counselor is to be able to see the hidden truth of people and to remind them of this truth, no matter how difficult it is to say and hear. On the other hand, some consultants believe that excessive stagnation can undermine clients’ trust.

Both groups of advisers, those who refuse to tell the bitter truth, and those who ruthlessly tell the truth to the other side, come to the same conclusion. To be a good advisor, you need to know how to apply the right pressure, so as not to lose the trust of the other party.

Why is it important to overcome the obsession with helping others?

Participating in the success of others is a great goal. It does us no harm, and it makes good sense to know that others are relying on our help; But when our desire to help others interferes with the need to be the key to their success, we fall to a point of fear; It means achieving the obsession of helping others.

When the people we help realize that we have used them to irrigate our souls, they will walk away from us. In a world where we and the things we do depend heavily on others, it is important to have a healthy relationship between the counselor and the person asking for help.

Warning! This article is for educational purposes only and you should consult your doctor or specialist to use it. more information




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