My years of counseling have taught me it is nearly impossible to help others unless they sincerely say ‘HELP ME!” This kind of help is to advise, give counsel, regarding a problem. Vice versa, to help others who have not asked for help is akin to spitting in the wind; it will come back to you.

It is important to ascertain if a person legitimately wants help or simply wants someone to listen to his complaining. A short, situational conversation may be:

“Are you asking me for help?” A simple “Yes” or “No” is desired without further details.

“No, I just wanted to tell you my problem.”

~ “I really care about you. However, it is not healthy for either of us to continue the discussion on this matter.”

Or another conversation may be:

~ “Yes, I really want your help.”

~ “How can I best help you?”

~ “This is what I need…”  (Hopefully, the request is reasonable and will lead to responsible behavior.)


  1. Many people, in reality, do not want advice; it appears they only want to complain.
  2. Many people, when given advice, will not receive it if it entails them; instead, they will blame others. 
  3. Many people do not want to change; they will not do the hard work.


  1. Do NOT give advice (counsel) unless requested.
  2. Do NOT allow people to place you in the middle of their dispute. This relates to being the burger in the middle of a bun waiting to get bitten!
  3. Do NOT take the role of a rescue warrior. Anytime you become the hero, the super rescue champion, the future outcome will probably trade you from hero to villain. More often than not, you will be resented.

As a counselor friend or a professional counselor, the goal is to give wisdom to “help-me” persons in order to grow, be responsible, mature, change. Then they will be able to help themselves and consequently navigate life wisely. 


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