5 Times You Shouldn’t Help Her

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As humans, we have a natural instinct to be protective of those we love. Whether it be a significant other or a family member. This instinct makes us want to help when we can. To offer guidance or solutions – but sometimes, this isn’t the best course of action to take.

As men, we need to understand that women don’t want us to solve their problems for them, but rather to be a support system to listen and understand while they discover their own solutions.

Here are five times that this rings true.

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She is having a fight with her friend.

A woman’s relationships with her friends are often outside the realm of her relationship with her boyfriend. When offering advice or getting involved, we run the risk of saying something offensive or sounding like we may disapprove of one of her friends. This can only lead to awkwardness in the future, especially if you all spend time together.

Plus, if these are childhood friends she has known for far longer than you, saying something negative about them is akin to talking badly about her family. Simply listen to the situation at hand, and only offer (unbiased and fair) input if she asks.

She is frustrated with something you don’t understand.

I tend to be an eternal optimist and have learned that sometimes trying to lighten a frustrated mood actually makes things worse.

If every time your girlfriend vents to you, you feel the need to offer a silver lining, she may feel as though you’re minimizing or stifling her feelings by not letting her get them out of her system. Let her talk it out and only speak if it offers more value than simply understanding.

She’s having issues with her child.

Whoa man, especially if you’re a new boyfriend and not the father of the child, you are on some seriously thin ice here. I can’t speak from much experience as I haven’t really dated single mothers, but I know enough to stay away from telling someone else how to raise their kid(s).

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She tells you she wants to be alone.

Maybe you did something wrong, maybe you didn’t. Maybe she’s having problems at work, or maybe it’s a family issue. Either way, if she wants to be alone – let her be alone. We all know what it’s like sometimes to just not want to be around anyone, and thinking you can help if you just get her talking is a bad idea.

Give her some space and let her figure it out – she will appreciate it more.

Sometimes, less is more, and while we like to think we have all of the answers – sometimes we don’t. And that’s okay. 

She brought her work home with her.

Is she stressing about a big presentation or meeting a deadline? We all know the pressure that a job can put us under, and sometimes we just need to zone in on the task at hand to get it done. This isn’t the right situation to sit down beside her and help her with her math homework.

Bring her some water or a glass of wine, let her buckle down, and go back to your Call Of Duty.

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In all of these situations, it’s still important that you are there for her to offer help if she asks for it or really needs it. The only thing I’m suggesting with these points is that you don’t force the issue or pry your way into personal or emotional matters that she needs to figure out on her own.

Because much of our communication is non-verbal, it’s important that we pay close enough attention to see if someone is getting frustrated or annoyed with us but doesn’t have the heart to tell us to just walk away for a bit.

Play it safe. If she wants you around, she will let you know.

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8 Comments

  1. Pamela on March 4, 2014 at 3:48 pm

    As a woman, I can tell you these are very true. I will add, however, that just “telling” you she wants to be left alone isn’t enough. Many times in a relationship, I will just go in the other room with a book, and expect to be left alone. I don’t always feel I should have to TELL you I want to be alone, I will simply do it. If you come in and ask, I will then let you know whether I want company or just leave me alone, but I won’t tell you beforehand.

  2. Steve Horsmon on March 4, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Dead nuts, balls on accurate, James! Perfect.

    And, Pamela, thanks for the reminder. We need to use OUR intuition every now and then too!

    • Pamela on March 4, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Men HAVE intuition, Steve? LOL j/k…really. You all have it, it’s just learning to trust it. Many men will ignore what theirs is telling them, and rely on other methods. “solution based therapy” doesn’t always work.

  3. Luke on March 4, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    For any other circumstance
    If she wants help she will probably ask for it.
    If unsure if she is asking for help then ask first if she needs help rather than jumping the gun and giving advice.

    There is also a loop hole you can slip through if you are really unsure. Simply share a “brief” (I.e it isn’t a competition on who has it worse) story on how you had a similar problem. That way you aren’t telling her how to do something, you show her you understand her problem and most of all she has the choice to ask how you dealt with it.

  4. clickmybic on March 4, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Reblogged this on psfearlessmoms.

  5. You Can Find Love (@youcanfindlove) on March 4, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Great points here. Woman can be hard to understand and there are just certain times that you have to leave them be and not be Mr. Fix It. Plus, if you play Mr. Fix It, you may decrease her level of independence and that is an important part of a relationship.

  6. Samantha on March 4, 2014 at 11:13 pm

    i really appreciate the fact that this goes against those other “gentleman tips” of hugging her and being around her when she wants to be alone. I think this entry is relevant to all genders.

    • James Michael Sama on March 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      I’ve seen those Samantha! Some of them seem a little pushy and immature to me, like they’re trying too hard to force their way into a problem because they think that’s what “being there” means. Sometimes being there means…not.

      But I suppose that understanding only comes with experience and maturity.

      Thanks for your comment!

      – JMS

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