At times, it is more than beneficial to refocus you life. Knowing when to quit and move on to something beneficial can pay dividends to your sanity and your efforts. It is no secret that I love to help people. I love to see people grow and help people break walls that have them bound to mediocrity mindsets and sometimes years of hurt. I have helped people for many years now and have become quite successful. There is one lesson I have learned though. When you are willing to help others you open yourself up to pain and discouragement. There is nothing worse than wanting to help someone who does not even want to help themselves. It is frustrating and saddening to say the least. I dealt with a lot of pain over the years as a result of trying to help people who did not help in the first place.
I realized that to avoid this level of disappointment in my own life I was going to have to learn how to discern when someone really wanted help. A lot of people need help, but unless they want help, our efforts are usually in vain. Larry Winget says in his book "Shut Up, Stop Whining, And Get A Life, "Be helpful to those that want help, be stingy to those who need help." May not be the kindest way to put it, but it is great and timeless advice.
The first and only question that will answer this for you is to ask the person, "Are you happy with your life right now?" Some really will be happy even though you could not see how given their current situation. Leave it at that, let them live on. Others will be miserable but will try to appear happy because they don't want you proving them wrong. Leave it at that, let them live on. When you get a humble answer of no, offer your help. I found asking this one question to someone really helped me decipher if they "wanted" or "needed" help. Now my efforts are much more effective because I am helping people that sincerely want help. It is a win-win for me and the person I am helping out.
It is hard sometimes to walk away from someone who needs help, rather than wanting help. If you try to hang around for the long haul, you are potentially setting yourself up for hurt in the end. When some say they want help, they might really just want you to do it for them. If you act upon this, you are hurting them, not helping them. When people really want help, they will be the first to ask for it. Letting them know that you are available in the case that they want some help, may prove much more profitable than trying to talk to a deafened ear.
If you really have a desire to help others, let others know of your desire to find people you can help. Associate yourself with the word help in conversations with people. If no one knows that your desire is to help others, you will always be searching for people, rather than people coming to you. Be patient. If people know you have a desire to help others, you will find people that really truly want your help. You can add value to their lives and they can add value to yours. Being helpful just might help you make lifelong relationships. Being helpful can be invigorating and rewarding for both parties that are involved.