Albert Ellis, founder of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy said: “Acceptance is not love. You love a person because he or she has lovable traits, but you accept everybody just because they’re alive and human.” How is it that we so desperately crave unconditional acceptance, but are so slow to give it to others or ourselves?
Some days I wish that I was a fairy godmother (or had a fairy godmother) who could swish a magic wand and take all the problems and suffering away. That would be so much easier than needing to undertake a process of personal change! If you have ever tried helping somebody going though a hard time you will be well aware that there are no magic wands. So what does help a person going through a change process?
Continue reading What helps people change?
“When helping you is hurting me” provides a fascinating read – useful for personal wellness for those in the helping/social professions as well as persons experiencing difficulties with assertiveness.
Carmen Renee Berry writes that two powerful (and common) belief systems causes the Messiah Trap.
- If I don’t do it nobody else will (grandiosity).
- Other people are more important than me (worthlessness).
Combining these two beliefs drives us to outshine others in our helping compulsion. This is a powerfully destructive
Messiahs hurt when they help others. Love is not the motivation for helping: rather inadequacy, powerlessness, obligation, rage. They use other people to work out their own inner pain. They need to feel other people’s pain in order to feel their own. In sum, they do good things for wrong reasons.
She writes that these “messiahs” can come in many different formats: Pleaser, Rescuer, Giver, Counselor, Protector, Teacher, Crusader. They tend to give others what they desperately need to receive themselves.
- Pleaser: Can’t say no to requests
- Rescuer: Seems to always attract people in crisis
- Giver: Constantly gives beyond their ability
- Counsellor: Recruits people who need to talk
- Protector: Makes choices for people
- Teacher: Hides behind the adoration of the group
- Crusader: Gets frustrated when they can’t bring about change at their desired speed
Berry provides useful tools to assist persons to scape the messiah trap including acknowledging that you are caught in the trap, asking for help, and taking the risk of healing.
Take a look in your library or find it on Amazon. The important bit is that it doesn’t stop on your side table: ask for help. Confess your dilemma to a trusted friend or book an appointment with a counsellor. Let’s be part of a society that helps others for the right reasons.