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!