Helping hand

A friend I didn’t know very well asked if she could stay with me. She’s from another country, has no one in this world but herself and a handful of other friends who care about her. She’s utterly alone in this world – no family, no one.  

I can’t go into the details of how we met. And it’s not the story. I want to focus on selfishness, how much we are really willing to give, and how much we are able to love.

Over the phone, she is lively, chatty, and goes into much detail about her life. I listen, but I’m really only half there. I feel no nexus with her world. We are so different. She’s not seen too much of the world and is oblivious to social norms. If I was rude, I would describe her as country. Uncultured. Sometimes, there are things that she says or does during our meals together that embarrass me.

I listen to her rants part out of pity, part duty, part friendship. I know she has few who she can turn to, and every bit of support matters. But I also know that because life has been hard, she is resourceful. She will ask even when it is inappropriate, and push for whatever she can get.

I don’t know her too well. We’ve met a handful of times. But she marked me as a BFF. She wants to be in parts of my life where I don’t necessarily want her to be. She calls often. But I’m not always ready to listen.

Is this selfishness? Is knowing that you don’t really click with someone and wanting to distance yourself from them selfish? What if they are in need? What if, by their definition of help, it means to provide them with shelter, let them take your personal space, and time? What if you’re not ready to give that?

Am I too selfish to say no? Was she too bold to ask in the first place?

I’m no saint. I’ve put my foot down. Because while I want to be nice I also know myself – certain people  rub me the wrong way. Currently, she is one of them.

My happiness comes first.

Do you have a story on this issue to share? Have you offered to help someone only to regret it later? 


11 thoughts on “Helping hand

  1. Sounds like a difficult situation and clearly we can only understand that much of the it as described in your post. But I don’t think you’re selfish in refusing her to let her cross your border/personal space. I think the important thing is to remain true to yourself.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yes that’s very true. And it always backfires anyway, when we do things against our own will. If I extend my hospitality and end up hosting but show signs that I’m unwilling, it’s no good anyway. Thanks for the reminder – remaining true to yourself is important!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Don’t we all have to be a little selfish in order to protect ourselves from other peoples’ selfishness? Isn’t she also selfish intruding your personal space like that?
    Maybe it’s because I tend to attract egocentric people that don’t understand the word “No”, but I think it’s very important to protect yourself from people like that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes … I have a tendency to tolerate egocentric people too. I’ve been taught to be nice, but I don’t think that’s being good to myself either. You are right – it was inappropriate of her to impose. I tend to be more tolerant than usual to her because of her lonely background. But I don’t think that’s an excuse to act in a childish way in social settings. You’re right, learning to say ‘no’ is important.


  3. Whilst I agree that you have to be comfortable in who you are around I would also say that sometimes doing stuff you’re not sure about leads to cool things happening.

    If nothing else, you’ll have an amusing blog post about this up your sleeves. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s such a great way to think about it! Very interesting point raised. I completely agree – we must push ourselves out of our comfort zones in order to grow, learn and become better versions of ourselves. I guess we have to pick our battles – chose those challenges that will indeed help us grow, rather than hurt us too much. For my friend’s case, I learnt a lot more about myself, my boundaries, and what really makes me tick 🙂
      Thanks for the comment!


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