Kindness & Humiliation: Do You Know How to Be Helpful and Not Hurtful?

On the delicate matter of helping without shaming.

  • Don’t ask too many details. Most of the time, you don’t need to hear the whole story to be able to decide if you can and want to offer what the other person needs. By forcing them to defend themselves in your eyes, you’re merely underlying your superiority within the situation. In particular, if what they need is money, don’t make them tell you how much they’ve got left, why they need a certain amount, and how they are going to spend it. Respect the fact that they are adult people capable of rational decisions.
  • Don’t tell other people about it. (No-brainer!)
  • Don’t bring it up for no apparent reason. If you’re borrowing money, it’s important to set the terms of repayment at the very beginning. Don’t be shy to ask right there but don’t keep asking unnecessarily before the time to pay back is due. If it happens that the person knowingly ignores their debt, or keeps asking for more with no intention of repaying, then try not to involve emotions when dealing with it. There’s still a chance that there is some sort of explanation lurking at the back, which they might be reluctant to share with you right away.

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