Why You Must Stop Seeking Gratitude From People You Helped

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Everybody wants to be a hero and there is nothing wrong with that. Afterall, this is the reason most people tend to be helpful. Help is seldom unconditional and selfless for there is always some hidden motive behind lending a helping hand. And in most cases, it’s as simple as being able to be a hero for somebody.

In our conquest of being a hero, we often forget one simple yet important rule of heroes — leaving right after the job is done! It’s surely tempting to stay because you get to listen to a few words of gratitude and appreciation, and in most cases, from a complete stranger. It boosts our self esteem and makes us feel worthwhile. Despite that, I would not recommend staying for too long; here’s why:

When we help someone, we get to take the credit for someone’s happiness and he or she will be all praises for us. But the problem is — all these praises are originating from our one single act of kindness. Deep down, we are well aware that this is not something we do as a routine. What happens is — our whole personality is being judged on the basis of one momentary act that doesn’t necessarily define whole of us. Just imagine, if someone was evaluating our personality on the basis of one mistake, would we have liked it? I guess NOT!

However, it’s not a crime to overlook this reality because the other person is also making the exact same mistake. He or she is looking at us through this narrow iris made up of our one good deed. But it’s definitely a huge mistake to keep living in oblivion for way too long and letting the other person do the same. This is why:

We may be able to keep that ‘good image’ intact for a while by exhibiting a pattern of lending helps as and when needed. But because this is not our true self, we tend to break this pattern at some point and suddenly, all hell breaks loose.

Even if it is one small silly mistake, the other person may just not be able to accept it because we were supposed to be his/her hero, remember? So, this little mistake creates a chain reaction of mistakes in the eyes of the beholder. Without even knowing, we just broke so many expectations, unsaid promises, or worst, someone’s heart.

Thus, the safest way to play it is leaving as soon as our help is no longer needed. This will not only save us from the unwarranted embarrassment but will also let the beneficiary of our help be grateful for longer. Also, as a rule of thumb, our good deeds are forgotten faster than our mistakes, so there is no point pondering over the former for too long.

So next time, you get an opportunity to help someone, leave right after you are done — just like a superhero!

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