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Paradox's avatar

Have you ever tried to help someone with their problems and it backfired on you?

Asked by Paradox (2570points) October 23rd, 2010

This was inspired by a recent question about helping the homeless. This is just one scenerio that I’ve experienced firsthand. This is about one of my inlaws who was always in trouble with the law, never held on to a job for long, always had money problems and always had to create drama in his life.

I tried to help this person out. I offered him a place to live until he got himself together. I helped him to create a resume and land a decent job but he quit after 2 weeks claiming the place sucked (this ended up being a regular trend). I even had him help me with some of my side jobs doing electrical/plumbing and some furnace work to only have him not show up half the time and eventually he quit on me (I thought I was doing good by teaching him a trade).

Same with money, I never got paid back and I suspect he stole some items from me that were very sacred to me like a 1927 NY Yankees team autographed baseball that my pap gave to me, my football/baseball cards, money among other things. I have not bothered with him for around 8 years now.

Not trying to overstate my own personal experience here but has anyone on here tried to help someone out in any situation to only have yourself regretting it? Could be anything.

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4 Answers

Austinlad's avatar

A work colleague told me this story Friday. On his way home from work, he spotted a large chunk of metal in the middle of the road that had apparently fallen off or from under a vehicle. This was a major roadway, and traffic was heavy, but he pulled over the curb and dodged traffic to drag the thing to the curb. At that exactly moment, a large van pulled up, woman and two kids inside. She rolled her window and shouted, “How dare you set such a bad example for my kids by littering.” He was stunned and tried to explain, but she wouldn’t listen and kept bitching him out. Finally, he just threw up his hands and walked back to his car. This guy is one of the nicest, kindest people I work with, and I daresay the woman set a worse example for her kids than she wrongly accused him of being.

cookieman's avatar

Years ago, my best friend and my wife’s best friend met at our wedding, dated, and eventually married. We had both been close friends with them for years prior to them meeting.

Though their marriage lasted three years, they went through a lot of ups and downs. Every time they needed help, they came to us for advice and sometimes, mediation. We spent dozens of hours trying to help them. She even lived with us for a time when they were engaged. My wife and I were their best man and maid of honor at their wedding.

Well, in spite of it all, they finally divorced and promptly stopped talking to us.

When asked ‘why?’ we were told they allowed themselves to share too much with us so now it was akward. They just needed to move on.

So in the end, we both lost our best friends.

Paradox's avatar

@Austinlad Talk about no good deed going unpunished.

@cprevite Yes sometimes it is better not to know all your friends problems. Especially if cheating or something is involved because if the other gets wind you may be accused of slipping the details. I always tell my acquiantences or neighbors I do not want to know by throwing hints like changing the subject or telling them I’m in a hurry to get someplace.

diavolobella's avatar

It hasn’t really backfired on me, but I have tried to help someone out and it was a total waste of time. My SO has a buddy who can’t hold down a job. He’s arrogant, entitled, makes the same mistakes over and over again and will tell his employer to &$&^ off and walk off a job without any thought of the consequences. He’s repeated this pattern as long as we’ve known him. My SO met him when they were in the Army. Since he got out, his only work experience has been as a waiter, bar back, doorman at a bar, etc. and every time he gets a job he will start telling the owners they are running their business wrong or that they should promote him. He thinks he is a great cook, and so he’s tried to start his own business as a personal chef. He knows nothing about cooking. He thinks because he says he is a chef, that makes it so. Several times when he’s walked off a job, he’s ended up having to sell his belongings and sleep on people’s floors, etc.

Two years ago, after all his friends had a long heart to heart with him, he seemed to have an epiphany. He got a job with a large electronics chain after I worked on his resume for him. They sent him for training to a nearby city. My SO gave him money, loaned him a vehicle for a month so he could attend the training. Other friends let him live with them until he could get an apartment. He actually held the job for two years and we were all amazed and happy. It’s the first time he hasn’t lived in someone’s basement or has owned his own furniture, etc. This guy is 33 years old!

Well, two weeks ago he got angry at work because he apparently decided they should make him management, just because he felt they should. He ran his mouth and walked off the job. He was refused unemployment because he quit. He hasn’t done a single thing to get a job and posts on Facebook all day about playing X-box or asking what he should do today (Um, get a JOB?) and even posted “What kind of job do I want, President, movie star, action hero?” It’s not cute or clever. Today he posted that he went to a deli that is owned by a friend of my SO. This is what he said about it:

“I’m going to try and lend a hand through a friend that knows the guy that owns it. I hate trying to tell people how to run their place, but I could really show them a thing or two about how to run a restaurant.”

O.M.G. The “friend that knows the guy that owns it” is my SO, who will be mortified if this guy goes in there using his name as a reference and offends the owner, a man with years of restaurant experience who we like and respect a lot.

We’ve both had to try to turn a blind eye and ear to this man. We refuse to help him anymore. He is his own worst enemy and his own arrogance will continue to foil him forever. I’m done. So, helping him hasn’t personally backfired on me, but it’s been a huge waste of time because he hasn’t learned anything. If he didn’t like that good job he had after two years, he could have gone out and gotten another one before he quit. Now he can’t even use the one responsible job he’s had since the Army on his resume, because he walked out in a huff. He’s never had a job he didn’t either walk off in anger or get fired from.

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