Is Helpfulness Out Of Style? (or Shocking People)

Over the past few days, I’ve had several friends say to me how nice it was of me to help them. I’ve helped friends with rides, finding cheap airport parking, reconnecting makeup artists to actors, advice on blogging, and shopping finds. It’s not a big deal to me at all. Someone needs something and I know it. So I help them. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got a bit of downtime between customers at my day job so I can use that free time to research things for people if they don’t have time themselves.

But the way that some of my friends have thanked me have made it seem like they were shocked that I would go out of my way to do something for someone that I wouldn’t get anything out of. And that shocked reaction has stuck with me because it seemed like a no-brainer to help out.

I’ve always tried to be a helpful person. When I moved to LA, there were so many actors who weren’t willing to share any advice with me and said that I needed to find my own way and learn my own lessons. When I started my blog, I had some bloggers say a similar thing to me. It took me by surprise that people didn’t want to help out someone just starting out.

Now, I need to say that these people are in the minority, but what they said and how they refused to help me have stuck out in my mind. Even more so than all the people who were willing to help. But I think in most things in life, the negativity sticks out in your memory a lot more than any amount of positivity.

So when someone needs help with something that I can help with, I don’t question it for a second. I do what I can and hopefully either I or another person can get them what they need.

Why can’t this be the rule instead of the exception? Why are people not willing to help out like they used to? Why do people need to learn their own lessons instead of learning from other’s mistakes (isn’t that what history classes are pretty much all about)?

I’d love it if being helpful could become more common. I’d love it if the next time I help someone, they can just say “thank you” and not be shocked that I am willing to help.

Why is this so difficult for people? As an actor and blogger I guess I could see that people don’t want to help someone who could be considered competition. I just don’t get that. For acting, if a part is meant for me it’s meant for me. It doesn’t matter if my direct competition is there or not. And as a blogger, I doubt that someone would lose out on an advertiser or sponsored post because of me because every blogger has a slightly different story. So maybe I just don’t view my “competition” as competition. One of them is a good friend of mine.

I don’t know how to make this change in the world except to keep being helpful myself. And hopefully others will pass on the helpfulness to others.

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