Reader question of the month:
Is there a strategy to be my best helpful self without allowing others to take advantage of me? – L.D., Brooklyn, New York
This is a great question. Often times, people with a strong moral compass and the desire to be of service feel compelled to “help” others – either through words / advice, or by giving their time, energy, or money. While it may seem on the surface that helping in whatever way we can is obviously the right thing to do, it’s important to ask a couple of questions before leaping into “help mode.”
Does this person really want or need my help?
It’s easy to see someone that is in trouble, upset, or that could use a hand, and offer advice or assistance. Or maybe you have some knowledge that could help that person live a better life overall (those that understand Law of Attraction often run into this problem with people that don’t understand how they are creating their own reality). But if that person is not receptive to your help, knowledge, or advice, you’ll do little but annoy him or her, and drain your own energy in the process. Take a step back and see if the person might be better off learning from a particular experience. If they are not asking, don’t jump in, and even if they are asking, think about what’s really best for them in the long run.
How is providing my time / energy / money make me feel?
This is the most important question. Before you offer assistance, or even when you are in the midst of helping someone, if it begins to not feel good to you, that’s a big red flag to take a step back. Paying attention to your emotions and the way you feel is the best indicator of where your energy vibration is. If you start to feel like you are being taken advantage of, or your resources (time and energy are resources, too) are becoming depleted, then take care of yourself and tend to how you feel first. I always use the analogy of being in a plane – in case of emergency, put your own oxygen mask on first before assisting those around you. In other words, if you are not feeling happy, healthy, or good about yourself, you are of little benefit to anyone else.