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This is Why No One Wants to Help You – And How to Change That

“Why does no one want to help me?” This is a common question from many young people trying to make it through their education with scholarship, in their career or business. But is it really true; that the world is filled with people that don’t want to help? Isn’t there a chance that when you genuinely need help, that there will be someone willing to help?

Is it them… or is it you? If this seems like something you’ve experienced, in this post, I’ll share with you 7 common reasons why no one wants to help and how you can go from someone people don’t want to help to someone that easily attracts help even before you need it.

Why No one wants to help you

Before I tell you the 7 common reasons no one wants to help, you need to understand something. The major problem is that you are living in your reality. But the world does not function on reality; it functions on perception. The reason someone will save three months of their salary to buy an iPhone and brag about their decision is that they perceive that an iPhone is worth three months’ worth of hard work. Whether the iPhone is really worth three months’ worth of work depends on who you ask. Someone else earning the same salary may think this is the dumbest thing to do. The point is that what we call reality is often our perception of the world around us. And we relate with other people based on our perception of them.

Here is where it gets interesting. The perception people have of the iPhone didn’t happen by accident. Apple intentionally made sure the iPhone had such an influence on people.

The major reason no one wants to help you is that you have left how people perceive you to chance. You do not put in the effort to be perceived as someone worth helping. Perception is everything. Sometimes it can be based on rational reason but most times our perception is based on irrational reasons. Let’s look at 7 ways you give a wrong perception of yourself.

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1. You want pity

I feel exceptionally grateful when someone goes out of their way to help me without having a way to reciprocate. But there is nothing I despise more than pity. Give me anything you can offer but don’t give me pity. A lot of times, what people call help stems from a place of pity – and pity is the most destructive human emotion.

No one can give you a job out of pity. No sane person can give you capital to start a business out of pity. No organization will award you a scholarship out of pity. They can be reasonable but not pitiful. You don’t want pity. Out of pity, someone may give you fish to eat today. But if you want real help that facilitates positive improvement, you want to give people reason to want to help you.

2. You are entitled

The first thought of most people you approach for help is, “why should I help you?” Some may ask this question directly, but most times, they find the answer from your approach.

Many young people today think and expect anyone to help them – and feel offended when they don’t. You don’t put in the effort to explain why you need help, without feeling entitled. You feel like that pretty girl who doesn’t see the need to convince a potential mate that she’ll make a good partner. She’s too pretty to bother trying. When you feel entitled, you don’t try to sell yourself. As a consequence, you don’t get what you want.

You will make more friends if you are interested in people than waiting for people to be interested in you. Understand that everyone is fighting their own battle. People have busy lives and have a lot going for them as well. No one owns you any help.

3. You are not a giver

During one of my final year exams, I had my exam paper seized by the course lecturer – who was also the invigilator – just a few minutes into the exam. The lecturer was considered the most hostile in my department, and a simple misunderstanding was about to get me an extra year. I was told how this was a lost cause if we are talking about this particular lecturer.

Since I had nothing to lose, I decided to pay him a visit. I bought a bottle of wine and placed it in a fancy handbag. On meeting with him – of course, he didn’t recognize me – I handed him the bag and said, “Sir, where I come from, if you want to meet an important person, you must first present him a gift” I noticed, the proud smile on his face as he collected the handbag. Long story short, I ended up with an A in that course. You may think you don’t have anything to give to someone more privileged than you. But sometimes, it could be a matter of how you approach the person.

4. It’s hard to like you

People hire you because they like something about you. People help you because they like something about you. It is not because they feel morally compelled or that you are unreasonably persistent. It is because they like something about you.

Give them something in return. It’s not all about what you want. It’s about what the person who has what you need want in return. This can be very basic things like to feel good and genuinely appreciated. It could be to show that you respect their time, follow the instruction, or are polite. Or it could be something more like help them promote their product. Give people what they want and they will give you want. People wanting to get something from you before helping you is not about pride; it’s about the law of reciprocity; we want to give to people who have given to us.

5. They don’t know how to help you

We receive hundreds of emails everyday from users on our website. 95 percent of the emails tend towards the same vague requests like, ‘I want a scholarship, how can you help me?’, ‘I want to publish my books on Amazon, help me” It’s often difficult to provide concrete response to these requests because they are not clear on what they want. Nothing about the progress they have made and what specific information they are looking for.

When you make it hard for people to help you, they often don’t bother trying. If you want people to help you, make it easy for them. Ask exactly what you want them to help you with. Don’t dump your entire problem on them and expect them to figure out where you need help. That’s your job.

6. You haven’t put in your work

Imagine you had the opportunity to invest in the business between two people who approached you. One asks you to invest in their great business idea they believe will change the world. The other explains how he had started his business with his entire savings, has acquired 10 paying customers and is in need of capital to expand the business. Who are you more likely to invest your money with? I’ll bet you’ll put your money with the second person. People want to see that you have made some effort before reaching out to them for help. If you are applying for a scholarship, the scholarship provider wants to see that you are already spending time developing your leadership, academic and extracurricular qualifications. First, go and succeed with something small. Then bring your success to the table.

7. You are helpless

When we help people, we hope that our help will make their life at least a little bit better. No one wants to help a failure. There is a difference between someone who has failed at something and trying to get back on their feet and someone who accepts to be a failure.

Demonstrate you are a good investment. Nobody likes to associate with the loser. It’s like a wasted investment.

 People like to help positive and successful people, not wailers. Keep your despair and misfortune behind – bring your positive self forward. This is not about pretending to be who you are not. It’s about choosing to identify with the optimistic part of your story.

How to get people to help you

You see, no matter how generous you are, you want to see that the help you render is fruitful. If you donate money to the less privileged, you want to see that your donation improves their life. If an organization wants to offer a scholarship to poor students, they want to see, that the student appreciates the opportunity, and makes the best of it. At least that’s how they can measure the impact of their work. If you want to recommend someone for a job, at least you want to recommend someone you will be confident in.

There is no way people who do not know you can tell how you are likely to behave in the future other than looking at your past records and present behavior. People want to see your track record of success. Stop playing the victim. The best kind of help poor people get is handed out. Even if you are poor, don’t use that as collateral for assistance.  

If you want to increase the probability for people to support you, show your track record of determination to succeed. Instead of spending too much time asking for support or mentoring, go all out and achieve your first little win and bring it to the table. People will support you. Then get more wins and bring them to the table. People will rally around you. The more you succeed, the more people will want to help you succeed.

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