Helping Others Without Being Dragged Under

I assume most of society has noticed that when they move up in life, others will follow to drag them down. This seems to a be a bit of a curse because it occurs in animals and in fairytales. Hunt for the biggest buffalo for the most meat. Dethrone the king to have his castle. It’s a fact of life. In humans it tends to border being pathetic.

It’s tempting to grab the outstretched hands of those below in order to help build them up, even if they are the very same ones who have hurt you. That person sees you doing better in life than him — without him — and wants to intervene. And saying ‘no’ is very hard. Yet that ‘no’ doesn’t have to be hostile or you just being a jerk, but I’ll talk about that later.

Here’s an example from my own life. My ex contacted me on Facebook, I’m guessing after she browsed my profile. Now we have quite a history together, but I have no ill will. Actually, if things could be different I wouldn’t mind being friends with her. But when I answered her message and we chatted for several minutes, it was clear she wasn’t alright. Our conversation bounced from her attacking me for doing great to how horrible her life has become. There was nothing positive coming out of her mouth. It almost seemed as if her only goal was to one-up me in the conversation, realized I have become a better person, and then tried to tear us both down with negativity. And it was very sad from my end because I want her to be happy more than anything in the world, but I also have to be the asshole who walks away.

The trick is knowing that when pushing away the hand that wants to pull you down, you can still help that person. I believe that no one needs to be miserable or suffer. You just have to simultaneously detach, focus on yourself, and have a compassionate mindset.

You aren’t inherently better than the other person. Everyone struggles. Life is a struggle. There is very little actually holding you back from the others you view as beneath you. But there has to be a healthy boundary that prevents you from being dragged down, while also not being cruelly absent. If this sounds confusing, it kind of is.

With friends who did this to me, I felt I followed this plan well. I offered them help, but it made it clear how I will help and when I am available. I didn’t get overly immersed into their own tumultuous lives and still focused on my own. I was kind and thoughtful, but just didn’t let myself get too close. And it varies from situation to situation.

The offer to help was there, but it wasn’t what they wanted.

A sad fact about this world is a lot of people revel in misery. There are speculations, but it may be because defaulting to being miserable is the path of least resistance. It takes work to become happier and better as a person. A lot of people want to be there someday, but never start the journey to get there.  Thus, they want to prevent people from absolute happiness because literally “misery loves company.”

Let this be food for thought.


2 thoughts on “Helping Others Without Being Dragged Under

  1. Many people are like crabs in a bucket wanting to drag you down when you start moving up. I guess when you are at the bottom you don’t threaten a person’s self esteem but when they see you doing well you are a threat. The challenge is dealing with these people and there negative attitudes!


    1. I agree! I don’t know why, but this reminds me of a lyric from a song; “Everyone is king where there is no one left to pawn.” When people drift away from true values, it really does become like crabs in a bucket.


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