Do people actually appreciate what you do for them?

Serious question. We often don't think about how the things we do for others are received.

I volunteer to help with the hot lunch program at my kids' school. (I was there serving spaghetti today!) . One of the children there has had a lot of orthodontic work and devices. Last year it was difficult for this child to eat long noodles, so I was cutting them up special and setting them aside so this student didn't have to cut them themselves.

I did it as a favor to help this student feel appreciated and special, like their needs did matter.

Recently I had an offhand conversation with this student, where I mentioned I was sorry for not getting the noodles cut up this year, because I hadn't had the prep-time. Do you know what the feedback was? The student was GLAD I wasn't doing that, because it caused feelings of embarrassment and awkwardness on their end, like singling them out. My good intentions were not being well received!

But there's a DOUBLE lesson here in this.

1) I need to communicate better and ask if my help is wanted if it's going to become a pattern.

2) SPEAK UP IF you're on the receiving end of help, and it doesn't feel helpful to you!

Instead of suffering each lunch when I cut the noodles, the student could easily have mentioned to me (even in a blunt kid-way) that they didn't want the noodles pre-cut, and I would have stopped immediately!

Don't suffer in silence. People aren't always out to get you, and good intentions are not meant in a harmful way. Good communication happens on both sides - the giver and the receiver.

PS - say goodbye to those glasses on my face soon! I'm going for my Lasik consult tomorrow! Wahoo!!

Have you had an experience where your good intentions weren't helpful?  Share below!

Jessica Hansen