Who Helps a Helper?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Hello, I’m a 17 year old girl who is about to go crazy. Its my last year in high school and i’m preparing for the university exam. m having a very stressful year full of exams. But I have a bigger problem.to be honest I can say that I’m a good person. I’m not like those who don’t care about others feelings, I get sad easily and I like making people happy. I’m a bit sensational I guess. I can get affected so easily by people’s thoughts. But the problem is that I feel like nobody wants me and nobody would care if I died. They are here when they need me but when I need someone nobody’s there to help! this breaks my heart and I get very sad for this situation. I need help. Please help me?

A: It’s common for people to get into roles in a friendship group. One person somehow emerges as the leader. Another person is the one who is funny. Still another is the helpless but cute one. You get the idea. There are lots of possibilities. Then there is the “helper” role, the person that everyone counts on to be there when other people are troubled and who always seems to have a shoulder for people to cry on. It sounds like maybe you have taken on that job in your group. It makes sense to me that someone as sensitive and giving as you are would be in that spot.

There is no problem with people generally doing what they do best. Problems happen when someone wants a break. Sometimes a leader gets tired of leading; the class clown wants to be taken seriously — or the helper can use some help. People around them don’t know what to do. They expect us to stay in our role because that is predictable and safe. It’s uncomfortable for the others to think that the helper might need a turn being helped. Then have to accept that maybe she isn’t always going to be there for them when they need it.

I hope you have a best friend you can confide in and ask for help. Then do what you can to expand your role. Yes, help people when you can. But don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it. People will eventually get used to the idea that sometimes you want to be on the receiving end of help and comfort.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Mar 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). Who Helps a Helper?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/03/10/who-helps-a-helper/