Helping the Socially Inept

You’ve been supportive and non-threatening to the awkward socially impaired “ugly duckling” in the corner and after the passage of time, the social quack-hack reaches out to you and asks for help with their social awkwardness. What’s the best way to go about helping the socially inept?

Understand that it has taken a great amount of courage on his or her part to reach out to you, the last thing you should do is to overwhelm him or her with your enthusiastic outburst and overbearing excitement of being invited to change this duck into a “beautiful swan.” Too much enthusiasm may cause them to recoil and prevent them from reaching out to you again.

They realize they are socially inept and don’t need you to over-emphasize how awkward they are. Proceed with empath and compassion by trying to put yourself in his or her shoes. It’s taken a lot for him or her to feel like he or she could trust you with their uncomfortableness. Try not to chase them away.

Don’t overwhelm him or her by trying to suggest too many changes in rapid succession. This may cause him or her to recoil and send him or her back to his or her safe place. Go ahead at a slow pace, and do not make him or her feel like there’s so much to do that he or she will feel like a lost cause. Suggest only one or two things at a time, pause, and let him or her have time to adjust then ask if they might be interested in trying something else?

If he or she does not embrace your ideas or advice, don’t take it personally. Just try to be understanding of his or her plight and be supportive. It may just take a little more time for him or her to adjust to the idea of trying something new.

Let’s say, this person has a long history of fashion crisis and he or she has reached out to you for advice. In your enthusiastic desire to help you take this fashion-crime-scene to a trendy fashion outlet for a full-blown makeover. The idea of it sounds so incredible, but it might just be too much for him or her to acclimate to. Starting with shoes and a top might be a better starting point, then inviting him or her to do it again, someday, when he or she is ready.

This is the same approach you would use for any social awkwardness, such as mingling at a party. Don’t expect him or her to introduce himself or herself to a room full of strangers. Instead, encourage him or her to meet one or two new people and learn as much as he or she can about those two people in a few minutes. Let them go at their own pace, applauding them for their success, and inviting them to try again when they are ready.

Also, keep in mind, you should not be the only resource for the socially inept person. You can be massively helpful by referring him or her to resources which he or she can study in private, such as book, magazines, websites, youtube videos, etc…

Invite them to check out the resources you’ve provided, inviting them to check back with you, when they would like to discuss his or her findings.

Try not to hold expectations of how enthusiastically they should embrace your advice and give them the space they need to go at their own pace. Then you can humbly pat yourself on the back for helping to make the world a better place.

Awkward Desire to Help

You see someone struggling and you feel compassionate toward them and you’re vacillating in that awkward zone… You want to offer your heartfelt compassion, support, input, or assistance but you’re obviously feeling uncomfortable and discombobulated. You find yourself struggling with an awkward desire to help in some way. What can you do when you want to help someone who hasn’t asked for help?

You must first recognize that you are under no obligation to help anyone who is struggling. In fact, your offering assistance to someone who is struggling through a difficult challenge or process can hinder their propensity to learn an invaluable skill or far greater lesson leading to greater opportunity and change in his or her life.

Keep this in mind before you reach out to someone in an attempt to help them but always find a way to communicate that you love and/or care for them. You can gently nudge them or make suggestions of things they might try but be careful not to offer to do it (whatever it is) for him or her.

Remember that no one is broken or wrong. Everyone is on their own divine path. You can probably think back to times in your life that were very difficult. You might have even thought you could not possibly live through such a difficult experience, yet you did. Not only did you live through it but going through the experience opened the door to new possibilities and a better life for you. You wouldn’t want to rob someone else from a similar experiential expansion.

If your heart is pure and filled with compassion (not judgment) you can offer a little something-something to help him or her through this awkward moment in time.

I have learned (the hard way) that you cannot help the people you love and care about by taking them under your wing and supporting them by doing more for themselves than they are willing to do with themselves. This also applies to the coach/client relationship. You can show them the way, but you are doing both yourself and your client a disservice by trying to do it for them.

You can help someone with all the best intentions and might be surprised to find out the person you’re trying to help doesn’t value or want your help at all. Try not to let your feeling get hurt if someone doesn’t appreciate your offer to help. Remember that it’s not about you. It’s about the person you’re feeling compassionate about. Don’t make it about you. Bless them, and let them find their own way, and don’t take it personally.

Everyone is entitled to their own perspective. You can’t possibly know what is going on inside someone else’s head, and in their world, they may be working their ass off, exerting all the effort and abilities they have dealing with their own issues and battling their own demons. Maybe what they need is the space to deal with their own issues.

Also, consider that everyone is different. This person might be in their own Nirvana, which might look like hell to you, and you might be feeling sorry for them because you would feel awful if you were in that situation. Allow them to enjoy the place there are in if that’s what they want. To expect them to see their life from your perspective would be abusive.

Sometimes a person can find comfort in their painful situation. Being in this difficult place in their life might be a powerful part of their identity and personality. They might feel safe and secure (as odd as that might appear to you) when they are in this situation. They may not want to change or see any need to change the life they have become so accustomed to.

In some cases, someone who could really use a hand might not accept it from a person who cannot identify with their current status. If they are going through something and they know you have no idea about what they are going through, they might be unlikely to accept any assistance from you, even reject you. Again. Don’t take it personally. Bless them and allow the right person to be attracted to them who might be able to understand better where they are and what they’re going through.

It’s not your job to save the world.

You cannot, and you are never expected to, save everyone.

We can have incredible resources, skills and special abilities to help other people, but we must focus on those to whom we are vibrationally a match to. Even so, don’t be too enthusiastic about helping someone more than they are willing to help themselves.

Feel free to help, as you are inspired to do, but match their efforts to help themselves side-by-side, step for step, nothing more, love and bless them, no matter what.