Top Ways People Fail at Being Helpful

Most of us want to help our fellow man. Unfortunately, we don’t always know the best way to help, and often our best intentions fall flat. 

These are the most common “helpful” things people do that aren’t helpful at all. 

Talking Louder

Man holding his hand up to amplify his voice so he's loud.
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Deaf people are deaf. They can’t hear. It doesn’t matter how loud you talk; they still can’t hear you. Some folks try to overcompensate by over-enunciating, which makes it even harder for lip readers to understand you. 

Stop Zoning Out

Calm relaxed woman with her eyes closed and her fingers touching as if in meditation.
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Sometimes we want to zone out, especially if nothing else is happening. If we’re not working or supposed to be paying attention to something, you don’t need to stop us from zoning out. 

Pointing Out Blemishes

A red headed woman with slight acne pointing to a blemish on her chin.
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Most folks with a pimple or scar on their face actually know it’s there. There’s no need to embarrass them by pointing it out. 

Explaining Basic Concepts

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It’s probably best not to explain simple concepts to anyone else unless they specifically ask you to. Don’t tell someone how to send an email, pump gas, or use a treadmill unless they specifically ask you for help. 

Managing an Illness

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Far too many people want to police other people’s bodies. You may know someone has diabetes, but that doesn’t mean you get to tell them what they can and can’t eat. They already know that a cookie has sugar in it. 

Yielding the Right of Way

Woman dancing to her car radio.
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The rules of the road are rules for a reason. Although it feels polite to let others go first, yielding your right of way often confuses other drivers and pedestrians. Go when you have a green light. 

Overly Friendly Customer Service

Smiling retail worker wearing a smock at her check out stand.
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Most shoppers don’t actually need help finding things and would rather enjoy a solo shopping experience. Please stop asking us if we need help a million times. 


An unimpressed woman grimaces while wrinkling her nose.
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People are allowed to have bad moods or a frowny resting face. The smile police feel the need to tell these folks to smile, but that’s not helpful at all and borderline harassment. 

Explaining the Plot

empty movie theater with lights shining on the seats
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Have you ever watched a movie with someone who’s already seen the film, and they feel an intense need to explain every single thing that happens? It’s not helpful, and it makes us hate the movie. 

Or Asking All the Questions

Close up of a woman with a serious face holding a piece of popcorn in her hand like she's about to eat it. It looks like she's immersed in the drama of whatever she's watching.
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We have the constant questioners at the opposite end of the movie-goer spectrum. They’ll ask you a million questions about a movie you’ve never seen before, ruining everyone’s enjoyment. 

You Should Have Fun

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Did you know that everyone has a different idea of fun? Introverts enjoy staying home. They don’t need someone to harass them about going out because it “will be fun.”

Doing it For You

A baffled looking man scratches the back of his head in confusion.
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Sometimes we need help. If we don’t know how to do something and want to learn, we’ll ask for help. However, doing the entire project for us doesn’t help. We wanted to know how to do it; we didn’t just want it done. 

Helpful Advice To Improve Your Life

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If you’re not ready for the hard work, take smaller steps that will help you improve your life starting today. 

Find out more: How To Improve Your Life Right Now

Find Fulfillment in Life

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With the hustle and bustle of daily life, we often forget to take time to do what makes us happy.

Here are 37 tips to help you live your best life

The Best Ideas for your Bucket List

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Don’t just exist, live! Here are over 200 bucket list ideas to pursue for an epic life.

Invest in Yourself to Achieve Your Dreams

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An under-rated key to happiness is investing in yourself. You’re worth the time and effort.

Here are 38 ways to invest in yourself, and most aren’t about money. 

Turn Your Hobby Into Cash!

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Want to make money doing something you enjoy? Consider one of these excellent hobbies that make money!

Read it here: Cash in on Your Passions with the Best Hobbies that Make Money

Source: Reddit

Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.