(Helping is good but rescuing is bad)

HELPING: Giving someone ideas or suggestions about how they might solve a problem or resolve a situation for themselves (they are still responsible for the problem or the solution)

RESCUING: Solving someone else’s problem or providing a solution to someone else’s problem (taking responsibility for someone else’s problem)

HELPING: It is always clear the problem is theirs and you are only offering suggestions or assistance

RESCUING: Their problem becomes your problem (and often they are completely relieved of the burden while you continue to struggle to find a solution)

HELPING: Suggests you believe they are capable of taking care of their self

RESCUING: Implies they could not do it without you

HELPING: Supports and encourages independence and confidence

RESCUING: Creates dependence and low self-esteem

HELPING: You are free to say “no” or stay out of the situation

RESCUING: You do not have a choice or feel like you are obligated or responsible

HELPING: Causes you to feel relaxed, at ease, peaceful and appreciated

RESCUING: Causes you to feel tense, resentful, tricked, manipulated or taken advantage of

HELPING: You know it’s a gift from the heart and there are no emotional strings attached

RESCUING: There is an unspoken agreement that something is “owed” (emotional strings are attached)

HELPING: Is driven by compassion or unconditional love

RESCUING: Is driven by pity, guilt, manipulation or conditional love (you owe me something)

HELPING: “Here are a few things you might try”

RESCUING: “Let me try a few things for you and I’ll get back with you”

HELPING: “Here is a number you might want to call for help”

RESCUING: “I’ll call some people for you and get back with you”

HELPING: A hand-up

RESCUING: A hand-out

HELPING: A natural, human thing to do

RESCUING: A co-dependent, need-to-be-needed thing to do

Tulip Tree & B