How do you feel when someone turns down your help?

United States
August 22, 2007 7:06pm CST
I'm a very helpful person by nature and usually end up thinking of other people's comfort before my own. Of course, it doesn't always come out that way. And, so I'm constantly surprised when someone tells me that I'm only thinking of myself. Strange, since I rarely do that! Lately I've noticed that it really bothers me when someone turns down my help. It's as if they are turning down my heart and there's no reason to do that. Like when I make dinner for my spouse or try to give him coffee and he refuses it, I feel insulted as if he doesn't need me anymore. And, I know that's silly, cause he has already told me that he would fall apart if I ever left him. Maybe it's just insecurities on my part. And, most times he says he just doesn't want to impose on me or make my life more difficult. Easier said, after I've spent an hour preparing the dinner he just turned down! Wonder why he wouldn't think to say something before I put in all the effort. Besides, it's my house, so there's no imposition. I was going to be in my kitchen anyway. And, helping my family is my life. How could he possibly think he's imposing. Maybe he's just feeling guilty over not helping around the house more. Who knows! I guess I'd feel different if my offer of help had been turned down by a total stranger and not my own spouse! Do you feel upset when you go way out of your way to do a favor for someone else and then they throw it back in your face? Does it make you mad when you try to offer help to your spouse or someone else close to your heart and they turn you down?
3 people like this
27 responses
@theprogamer (10539)
• United States
23 Aug 07
Sometimes its a bummer, but not always. I'll usually help with just about anything, and I know there are times where my consideration might be excessive. In other cases where the task is difficult or there is a real problem, being turned down is a real drag and it feels weird. You know someone will strain and struggle but they don't want your help, I can barely comprehend it. With some guy friends its an issue of pride (like being able to lift the jumbo bag of ice for the cooler), but other times its just inexplicable.
2 people like this
• United States
23 Aug 07
Sometimes I think it is pride on my spouse's part. He doesn't want to feel helpless around me. Even when he is really tired or feeling worn down, he pushes himself to do more and then when i try to help, he must feel like he has failed at being a good husband. But, I feel like it's my job to help him. I want to help him. Just like I want to help all my family and friends. It's just part of my nature. But, I can see his point of view.
@Darkwing (21588)
23 Aug 07
Beauty... we are all different. Some people just don't like to "impose" on others, whoever they are. I've been through this myself, and I just think to myself that my actions or offers are just making them feel inadequate, to the extent that I asked a very close friend if he ever felt inadequate. His reply... "Oh, all the time." He has to show his ability to do things for himself, despite his being ill and tiring easily. That's just the way he is... I know it's not because he cares any the less about me, and I know he's not doing it to hurt, but rather that I've perhaps hurt him a little in the offering of help. So, I just put it down to experience, and always... yes, always, ask first if there's any way in which I can help, because I would really like to. If he says no, then I accept it, and let him find his own way. Don't be upset that he says these things to you... just understand his innermost feelings. You'll both feel much more comfortable and happy about things, if you can do this. Brightest Blessings.
• United States
23 Aug 07
Very sage advice, Darkwing! I had not thought of it from that point of view. Thanks
@Darkwing (21588)
23 Aug 07
You're quite welcome, Beauty. :)
@tuffy999 (794)
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
honestly i would feel offended. but i guess you can't please everybody.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
Well said! You can't please everybody.
@thefortunes (2368)
• Netherlands
23 Aug 07
Hi Beautyqueen26, What you describe here will probably bother me if it happened once, but if it happens more often I don't think it will continue to bother me. I will simply make sure to ask him beforehand if he wish something for dinner, lunch whatever before I go and make it. He is most probably feeling bad that he is not heping enough around the house, but has quite a way of showing it :) Really dear, don't take it so deeply as I am sure the guy loves you a lot, but is lacking in ways to make you see it ! God Bless
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Aug 07
That's a very sweet thing to say! I am too tough on him certainly. He spent all morning and afternoon outside in the heat getting our truck from the repair shop. He does his part. I shouldn't ask for what he can't give me. Just as he doesn't ask me for the impossible either. Thanks for shedding new light on the subject.
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
Yes, I am helpful and I feel upset when people turn down my help. That's why I tend to just feel for cues before I offer any help. I've learned my lesson. And really, only people asking for help will accept help.
1 person likes this
@cefaz_21 (2597)
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
He should have shown at least appreciation for what you did,specially preparing for dinner...I know it is hard to cook so it would be painful if your spouse will ignore the dinner just like that. For friends who turns down help from me..I'll be offended of course. I actually have a friend who's gonna get married next year,I know she needs my help about planning and all (as I do wedding planning) but she's not asking yet..I would want to offer but I fear rejection..so I'll just wait till she ask.
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
The example you have given about your husband turning down dinner you have prepared was really upsetting. Specially if he was aware about your activities in the kitchen. Why did he not touch the food? It means he ate already somewhere. I just hope he had the courtesy to tell you to not prepare him dinner. In situation like this I think it best that you ask first before exerting an effort the next time. About friend turning down a helping hand, I guess they would want to solve whatever it is himself/herself. Just open the option that you are there for him/her when they no longer have the will to carry the problem on their own.
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
23 Aug 07
Different people have different characteristics. Personally, I too used to feel the same way . But one thing I have realised is that if someone, moreso your husband expects something out of you and imposes his will it is a case of a worse situation.In your specific situation, just make sure that your service in that particular area is needed. Obviously, he does not care for so much effort on a meal or he does not really need it. If you want to make something special that you like then factor in his likes and either do something that both of you like or if he does not want anything then just stick to the basics and be relieved that you are free from work.Help should be given only when it is asked for. If the person is sick and gets bigoted then you can ask that person to shut up and render your help. Then you can justifiably say]]Alright , alright, I am helping you , Take it or leave it. ''When the person is normal, there should be clear communication and if he says he doesn't want something don't do it and then expect gratitude or appreciation for something that you gave which in turn was not terribly needed.
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
23 Aug 07
1 simple question before you started your preparation would have solved your problem. You cannot expect men to understand all thoughts that go in your mind. Ask if you need clarifications and express your desire to cook something special and check with regard to his frame of mind.
@maddysmommy (16236)
• United States
24 Aug 07
Not really. I don't mind offering to help and if they don't want it then that is ok. As long as they are aware that i did offer to help, that is all that matters to me.
@KrisNY (7592)
• United States
24 Aug 07
I can honestly say I haven’t had this problem- When dinner is done- we eat- I usually ask prior- what do we all want for dinner- and if someone isn’t hungry they would say- I think the only time he didn’t eat was when he was sick- I would be upset also- if I made a meal and he said no thanks- No thanks- It’s done now get out here and eat! Lol.. no questions asked. I agree- it’s like you’re making it already- so why is it an imposition? We call it family bonding time- I don’t get upset if friends say no to my help- usually if I know they need it- I just do it- I don’t ask- I do it.
@lantisb3 (114)
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
if someone refuses my help I usually just say that they should call me "when" they finally need help as i am always ready to help them out. Rejection is a hard thing to accept but people usually like to solve problems on their own so we cant force help to others.
@clocks123 (1228)
• United States
23 Aug 07
have you told your husband how you feel about all your efforts in the kitchen see what he has to say i know it does hurt me when i do something for someone--anyone-and they question my motives or are so independent they don't want me doing things for them i would tell them how i felt and see the whys for this situation
@jcj_111776 (3221)
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
When someone turns down my help, I immediately feel insulted and offended. I get a little angry too but I try to swallow it down as fast as possible. Then I try to think that maybe that person has a valid reason for turning down my help. I had a similar experience too with my husband.I've gone out of my way to help him by doing something for him. But as it turned out, he not only needed my help but was a bit irritated that I did it. Well, we can't please everybody. I just tell myself if there are people out there who doesn't want my help, then fine. It's not my problem anymore. At least I've shown them that I'm just there if they really do need my help.
@cmsk2005 (1770)
• United States
23 Aug 07
I get upset if someone turn me down on helpin him/her. When i go to help, I go with all my heart and I do not expect that the person will do this to me, so I get upset but when I go to help somebody, I go if that person is really in need or if I know that person or my help is the only help there. If I see many other are already taking care or its not necessary to offer my help, I control myself to avoid the situation of turning down. But I am sorry to hear your case hear and this is kind of real upsetting thing. I get mad not just upset in this situation.
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
Frankly i will feel bad about it but i have to understand him also. Like you im also very helpful person from the school, friend, relatives, strangers im very approchable most people tell me that im friendly and very kind to always help many of my classmate telling me that im very helpful to anyone. But other people refuse me when i need there help and im kinda hard to take it but i have too. I remember my classmate telling me that why are you like that your very helpful on almost all of us cant you see others taking advantage on your trait.. And sometime maybe i just really want to help them but im ending like ignored other's dont like my help dont know but i feel bad about it..
• Canada
23 Aug 07
It depends on the situation when I am turned down . If I am turned down for helping with the dishes or something because the person always lets them air dry then I am not as insulted as I would be if I offered to dry them and they said no and then did them up themself , but the truth is these people sometimes feel they are expecting to much from you and just don't want to take advantage of you so if you could look at it this way you wouldn't have your feelings hurt as often .
@wisedragon (2330)
• Philippines
23 Aug 07
helping hand - naturally you want to feel useful to the person you love
I'm also helpful by nature just like you. And yes, it can hurt when the woman I love turns down my offer of help. You see, that's my expression of love for her. I want to be useful to her. So when she turns it down, it's like she doesn't want my love. She prefers to ask help from a male co-worker, so he's the one that's useful to her and I feel useless! But I believe in respect so I don't force her to let me help her. I just let her be and think of some other way to express my love for her.
• Australia
23 Aug 07
It is hard to tell as it varies from person to person and by case as well. At times there maybe a good reason for them to do so, at others there might not be. At the same time, you might not know the whole situation yourself and hence it is hard to plan your next move. But in saying that, it also depends on the manner of which they turn down your help. At the same time, I am sure when your upset or whatever, that you don't tend to act yourself and would rather want to be left alone which is probably what is happening. It's not all to bad, as long as that is not their true feelings and emotions towards you.
@Buchi_bulla (8299)
• India
23 Aug 07
People will have their own preferences and conveniences is it not? It is not that they want to hurt us but because by accepting our help they may have some other problem. I am feeling not well. If you give sweet or ice cream, I will refuse to take. Not that I do not want from you but I do not require that help that time. Like that so many reasons for so many refusals. Please understand that. They need not tell the reasons to us always.
@pinnibabu (135)
23 Aug 07
I really feel bad when a near and dear one turns down your offer of help. I would probably end up in tears. I am a emotional person by nature and that may be the reason. We should become more practical.