Why would you reject a kindness?

Do you know anyone who’s made both these complaints, even at the same time?

A: People should reach out to me and take care of me because I’m dealing with some crap right now.

B. People should stop doing stuff for me because I’m dealing with some crap right now and it’s humiliating enough without their interference.

You can’t complain no one is helping you, then complain when they do.

Well, you can, if you have a good answer for your 9-year-old when she asks, “Why are you mad at someone for doing something nice for you?” A 9-year-old is not going to understand, “Because I didn’t ask him to mow the lawn for me.” Her takeaway? Don’t do anything nice for people because it might make them mad.

Really. Put the shoe on the other foot for a second. Have you ever done something kind for someone who refused to accept a kindness? You didn’t expect a response at all, but you’d have been thrilled with a simple “thank you”. Instead, your prideful martyr sent you packing on a guilt trip. Yes, I’ve been there too.

The last few days have been loaded with logistical complications involving childcare and travel. A neighbor had an unexpected day off and mowed my yard along with his own. “Life’s hard enough as it is,” he said when I knocked on his door to thank him. “I had time. You didn’t.”

I had been burning myself at a stake, fuming at the nerve of some people to interfere in the troubles of others. My daughter’s question reminded me of the merits of grace over pride.

Thanks, friend, I thought. I will accept your help as the gift you intended.

And you? Is it difficult to accept help from others? Have you been burned when you tried to offer a hand? I admit this is a hard one for me, always wanting to do things myself but not understanding when others are just like me.
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3 thoughts on “Why would you reject a kindness?

  1. Some people see kindness as weakness and they reject kindness because they’re not very kind. Self-Centered people are so quick to correct someone for being kind and vilify them as being “weak” and “stupid.” So many men painfully reject perfectly wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, classy women for being nice because they’d rather be with some difficult bitch who loves to argue and treat like like shit. I’m so over people admiring the mean-spirited and seeing them as strong, tough people with leadership abilities. The only place an asshole can lead me is to a toilet. Sorry for the language. Just venting a bit.

  2. Bake him something and move on. I wound up not having to drive to Nashville yesterday, but I will bring your lilies another day soon — some more popped up in a spot where they shouldn’t be, so they have your name on them. 😉

    • Maybe my neighbor across the street will bake him something on my behalf. 🙂 (Jennifer, anytime you want to bring me lilies, I’ll be thrilled. Just the thought of you sharing your garden is precious.)

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