Social Question

SuperMouse's avatar

Would you help in this situtaion or keep your distance?

Asked by SuperMouse (30798points) May 23rd, 2012

Someone who has consistently and purposefully hurt you over a length of time is down on their luck. This is someone you were once close to, things went sour, and from that point they have attempted to make your life miserable at every turn. You have managed the situation and taken the lumps without any permanent damage. Now that this person is down on their luck you happen to have been the first person they called. You have a skill that can help them get back on their feet more quickly than if they were left to do it alone. Do you help them out because you can and it is the right thing to do? Do you let them deal with it alone because they have so consistently tried to hurt you?

If it matters, this person’s luck turning around will benefit you and your family members.

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29 Answers

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar


A lot of times when you are making somebody’s life miserable, you have no idea you are doing it. And it sounds like it will pay you back later.

Kayak8's avatar

I would help, just because that is my nature. I would also set very clear limits and boundaries before doing so!

chyna's avatar

Grudgingly help. But once this person’s life is back on track, don’t expect this person will change. This person will still be the jerk they always have been. They will not be appreciative after all is well. But you do it because it’s the right thing to do and with no expectations.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought they knew they were doing it. They were doing it very systematically and deliberately.

bkcunningham's avatar

Is helping this person going to cost you in any way, shape or form. I mean like financially or emotionally or such?

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

@SuperMouse oh. When I am told I am pissing someone off, I am always mildly surprised.

Brian1946's avatar

I would only help such a person if it would benefit me and/or my family members.

Otherwise, there are too many people more deserving of my time and effort for me to waste them on some ahole.

mangeons's avatar

I wouldn’t help them. That might sound mean, but a person like that just simply doesn’t deserve it, and the time and effort could be put to good use on people who actually do deserve the help. Why should I help them when they have purposely tried to do just the opposite to me on many different occasions? I know some people say “kill them with kindness” but that’s just not my style.

marinelife's avatar

Help. Why hurt the other family members? Keep it businesslike. Let them know from your behavior that the hurts are not forgotten nor forgiven.

Sunny2's avatar

If you have special skills or knowledge that could help, I’d help. But I’d not be involved after I’d imparted that advice or done what I could to help. This person doesn’‘t deserve your friendship, but does deserve the help because, as you say, “it’s the right thing to do” and you are a good person. If there are any questions, be honest and tell them what you think.

Coloma's avatar

You don’t owe anyone help that has deliberately harmed you. If you want to be a buddha go for it, but I vote for letting karma take it’s natural course. Turning the other cheek and hovering in the land of masochism is a fine line.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I help. Been there, done that and it all worked out for the better.

Nimis's avatar

I would help if they couldn’t do it on their own. But if it’s just a matter of making things easier for them, I’d pass.

Unless their situation is dire. Is their down-and-out-ness paramount to karma? Or worse?

I’d also weigh in whether or not you have to personally deal with them in this situation. Is it something you’re doing on their behalf? Or do you actually have to work with them?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

That’s a really tough call, especially with the notations about giving assistance would benefit family members and that the person asking for the favor systematically and deliberately knew that they were causing pain.

I would like to think that I would go ahead and offer the help, while hoping for the best and expecting the worst. Entering a situation like that with this attitude will prevent reopening an old wound and might help in the healing process.

Coloma's avatar

Ask yourself this. Are you “helping” because you genuinely feel forgiveness and compassion towards this person, or…is it your ego that wants to be “seen” as above it all, score personal points to uplift your own sense of self worth and feel superior to the lowly fuck up.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Coloma That is indeed one way of looking at it, and it should be taken into consideration.

Coloma's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I always explore all potential angles. lol Yes, I think getting really honest within ourselves first is the ticket. :-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You’re a miserable prick. Lie in the bed that you made. I’m not helping you. I’ll put the effort in to helping my family. Dirty money sucks anyway.

SuperMouse's avatar

Thanks everyone for sharing some great perspectives and giving me some food for thought. I really appreciate all of the input and hearing different opinions.

Here is one thing that irritates me about the situation and makes me want to withhold my help. There is almost no doubt in my mind that this person thinks I would be willing to help because of the benefit for my family. The truth is that isn’t part of it at all. I know that in spite of their hatred toward me and their acting out, this person has a hard time dealing with very difficult situations and my wanting to help comes from that and nothing else.

Paradox25's avatar

It would depend on the circumstances, and there are too many variables even in what you’ve described to give a direct answer here. I’m also not going to allow a person to use my family as an excuse to cause me any further harm either.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

There’s a variation of what @Pied_Pfeffer wrote, hope for the best but expect the worst that I should have added as a clause. I hope for the best but envision the worst and ask myself how I’ll deal. If I can deal and keep my wits about me then I’ll help. As soon as shite goes from just impacting me to impacting my family though, I get twitchy.

Ela's avatar

I’d avoid them like the plague so I highly doubt they would be able to get hold of me to ask in the first place.
If by chance they did… I hope I would have the strength to walk away.

Kardamom's avatar

If the help I could give them was something easy and quick for me to give and not something that I would have to invest much time or effort in, then I would probably help them, but let them know that that is all I am doing, helping them to get back on their feet and not getting back into the fray with them.

If they kept coming back, after that, I would probably tell them that we needed to limit or end our contact and remind them that I gave them the help that they needed, already, and I really could not do anything more for them.

I had to do something like this for an ex-boyfriend, who came back after several years needing my help. He had treated me pretty badly and I had hoped to never see him again. After I gave him the assistance he needed, a one shot deal that was no problem for me to give, I never heard from him again. I knew he was just using me, but no harm no foul.

Nimis's avatar

With your added details, I have to amend my answer.

this person thinks I would be willing to help because of the benefit for my family
Fuck that. I wouldn’t help them. I wouldn’t want their dirty money. They probably think they’re doing you the favor.

this person has a hard time dealing with very difficult situations
Yeah. Don’t care.

ucme's avatar

Like a blind one armed man in a rowing boat, what goes around comes around.

lillycoyote's avatar

I can only tell you how it would play out for me. If I was the person they called on first, to help them, and I could, with my skills and abilities, as opposed to them just calling me to ask me to lend them money, I would help them, because it’s the right thing to do, and then I would spend hours and way to much mental energy brewing and stewing over whether or not I was a good, decent person or just a sucker.

What can I say? That’s how that kind of thing would play out for me.

augustlan's avatar

If this person is who I’m thinking it is, help. Be a total bitch about it, though. ;)

OpryLeigh's avatar

Something similar happened to me recently. A girl who I used to work with and was a complete bitch to me contacted me after two years of no contact because I had information that she needed for a claim she was making against a company. This claim could see her get thousands of pounds in compensation. Anyway, I find myself helping her out and you know what, I’m annoyed with myself that I did. Taking the moral high ground has not made me feel better despite what the optimists say.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I would help if I could without risking the well-being of my family or myself. Why? I try to to what is right. If that person realizes they don’t deserve my help, perhaps they will learn something valuable in the process.

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