Richard Maun – Responsive Or Rescuing

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Responsive Or Rescuing

8 March 2015

Are you a helpful soul? Do you generously offer support, even if people don’t actually ask for it? When someone does ask for help do you show them how to do the work, or do the work for them?

Being helpful, kind and supportive are great attributes to have and be proud of, and yet there are times when we can over-step the mark. If we are ‘over helpful’ the other person can feel that their space has been intruded on, or that they were deprived of the chance to finish the task themselves.

Often when people ask for help, what they want is to be shown how to get out of a ‘stuck place’, or to have their thinking checked out. What they really want then is to be left alone to sort themselves out.

The terms ‘responsive’ and ‘rescuing’ can be found in Transactional Analysis and relate to psychological games. Someone who rescues other people in this context means well and yet overdoes the help and then perhaps resents the other party for wasting their time! Rescuers can smother people with their attention, which can leave the other person feeling put-upon and fussed over.

Someone who is responsive simply listens to what the other person wants, or needs, and then collaborates with them to meet that need. They are good enough in supporting the other person and maintain the power-balance between people. Everyone feels good and gets a positive feeling of regard.

A quick test to find out whether we are rescuing or being responsive is this:

“More than 50% is a rescue”

This means that if we are doing most of the work then we are rescuing the other person. We can only be responsible for our 50% of the work and the other party has to account for their side.

So, this week next time someone asks us for help we can agree with them what they really need and make sure we stick to our 50% limit.

Have fun being responsive!

Next week: Ok Heads & Ok Hearts


Click cover to view details on Amazon


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Published 2013 Marshall Cavendish



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Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish



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Leave the Bastards Behind

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Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish



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Published 2006 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish


© Richard Maun 2015 / Click here to contact