In general terms, there are two types of people who help others; people who help because it makes them feel good and people who are looking to get something out of it. I say in general because it also depends on who and what the person is and what's expected of them.

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I think I have one of those faces that makes people think I need help all the time, whether they're looking to get something out of it or not. I'm always being approached by people trying to "help" me find religion. I have people who think I need help because I smile a lot and sometimes talk to myself out loud; they probably think I'm crazy. lol

I'm one of those people who helps because it makes me feel good. I've been a part of a few non-profit organizations over the years because I was asked and decided to put in some time to do what I could. I'll admit that I have limits; I never asked people for money but I did tell lots of people what I do and which group I was doing it for. I was even asked to be in leadership positions here and there, and I always took on the job.

In my adult life, which I consider as my life over 35 (when I finally had more personal responsibility) I developed a particular belief that said to never help people unless I was specifically asked. Once I was asked, unless there was only one option, I always gave options instead of out and out telling people what to do. It took me a while to learn that when you offer specific advice you actually end up owning someone else's problems; sometimes it goes on for a long time.

I acknowledge that every once in a while you actually have to help people whether they want it or not. You have to try to keep children, yours or someone else's, from running in the street. You have to step in and help if someone is laying on the ground unconscious. You might feel compelled to help anyone out who's in a bad way and not in control of themselves, or has someone else giving them trouble that you need to try to stop. I've even bought food for someone who's asked me for money that I knew if I gave it to them they weren't going to use it for food. Those are acceptable times to help.

You know another time it's acceptable to help? When you're in the workplace and in a position of leadership. Not only is it acceptable, but it's expected.

You have to step in and help your employees with problems you notice but they don't seem to. You have to help them when they come to you for assistance. You might have to help your peers when you discover something they need to know about that affects your department or the organization. If you don't, you're not being a very good leader; maybe you shouldn't be one at all.

True, you can't always step in to help without allowing them the opportunity to succeed or fall on their own every once in a while. Not only is it the only way to see what people are made of and capable of but no one likes micro-managers; sometimes they don't like themselves. Micro managing is tiring; if you're micro managing people you can't get your own work done.

In my regular world I don't help unless asked unless it's crucial that I do. In my role as a leader or when I talk to leaders about their responsibilities, I definitely let them know when they should be helping and why. I even did a video about this topic last year on my YouTube channel:

Real Leaders Don't Wait To Be Asked To Help

Learn when to help and when to wait to be asked, especially if you're a leader.