Skip to main content

Why People Don't Want to Help You

Dreamworker has had a lifetime of experience dealing with various types of relationships successfully.

Find out what it is that you are doing that is keeping people from wanting to help you!

Find out what it is that you are doing that is keeping people from wanting to help you!

These days we hear many people complaining about how, in the past, when someone had a problem, neighbors and loved ones were quick to help them, but today, this just doesn’t seem to be the case.

We talk about the fact that people are busier, more stressed, less caring and utterly selfish, but the truth is that these are just excuses. The truth is that people have not changed. Yes, they work hard and have lots of stress in their lives, but the same was true for individuals who lived decades ago.

While it is true that some people actually are selfish and uncaring, they actually are the minority. Over the years, I have seen individuals do things for one another that completely go against the stereotypes mentioned above.

For example,

Almost every day you hear on the news that

  • someone has risked his life to save a person he doesn’t even know,
  • people have donated kidneys to strangers and
  • other have taken hurricane ravaged strangers into their homes just to give them a roof over their heads.

These are not small sacrifices and prove beyond a doubt that, as Anne Frank wrote “I still believe people are good at heart”.

What’s the Problem?

Some of you are reading this right now and thinking to yourselves, “Why am I not seeing this?”.

You are a good person who works hard, has good values and tries to live a decent life, yet when

  • you are sick, nobody calls,
  • you need assistance around the house, nobody offers to help and
  • your car breaks down, and you need a lift, there is nobody who offers you a ride.

If people are so good to others, you cannot understand why they’re not being good to you!

The Solution

It is easy to blame your situation on others, but have you ever stopped to think that perhaps you are the one who is causing them to respond as they do?

You may not even realize it, but there likely are things you are doing that make people not want to help you.

If you changed your ways, it is highly likely that they would change theirs!

Below are some things you might want to consider doing (or not doing) if you want people to reach out to you when you are in need.

Lack of Reciprocation

When people do things for you, it is often out of kindness. They don’t basically expect anything from you.

However, if you take their help for granted and are unable to even say ‘Thank you”, after awhile, they begin to feel like you are using them.

This is especially true if they end up needing some sort of help, and you simply shy away from them.

Scroll to Continue

Even a seemingly insignificant lack of reciprocation can drive people away.

For example, my husband and I have been friends for years with another couple, Early in our relationship, we used to invite them to dinner fairly regularly.

After awhile, we realized that they were not doing the same. Not only that, but when we went out to eat together, they never even offered to pick up the tab as a way of thanking us.

Furthermore, we’ve had a fair amount of health problems. In 30 years they never one time called to see how we were doing or even sent a get well card.

These are likable people with whom we’ve enjoyed many happy visits. However, we came to feel that they weren’t treating us fairly.

So, a long time ago, we stopped having them over for dinner and have spent less time with them as the years have passed. If one of them gets sick, we’ll still call, but that’s all we’ll do.

We want to be with people who appreciate and respect us, not those who think it’s OK to take and not give.

Not Acknowledging People

it is very easy to become lazy when it comes to sending greeting cards, going to special events or giving gifts at appropriate times to people with whom you may have relationships.

Although their special times may not seem important to you, they are very important to them.

It takes very little to place a call or send a card when someone is ill, is having a birthday or is getting married.

However, when you avoid doing things like this, people remember, and they keep those memories for very long amounts of time.

So, when you turn to them for assistance, you should not expect to get it. In fact, you shouldn't even ask.

Why would someone you have slighted want to help you?

Exhibiting Bad Habits

There are two terrible bad habits that people have which annoy others and make them want to steer clear of them.


People who still smoke may be able to find help from others who do the same, but these days many people who have given up this terrible habit simply don’t want to be around it.

It not only is a filthy habit, but it can be dangerous for those who spend any time in the realm of a smoker. They smell, their homes and vehicles smell and when those who have spent time with them leave, they smell, too!

They get sick a lot and expect people to give them a helping hand when they do, but many feel that they are causing their own health problems and simply don’t want to get involved with them.

Drinking Alcohol

People who drink too much are a big turnoff for people who do not imbibe.

Driving anywhere with them can be dangerous and so can they because the alcohol makes them mentally unstable.

No average person wants to become involved with individuals who are unable to control their behaviors, therefore they generally stay away from them or find excuses not to become involved in their problems.

People who are always behaving maliciously towards others rarely get help when they need it.

People who are always behaving maliciously towards others rarely get help when they need it.

Behaving Maliciously

Another behavior that drives people away is when those they know consistently gossip about other individuals or purposely try to harm their reputations.

The problem here is that if you hang around people like this, you can never know if you are going to be the one they go after next!

When you don't trust people or approve of the way they behave, you certainly are not going to go out of your way to assist them when they have problems.

A woman I knew once fell down in her driveway and couldn't get up. Her neighbor was pulling out of her own driveway, saw her, ignored her and drove off.

The lady who fell thought that woman was horrible for doing this, but clearly had created some sort of bad feelings with her neighbor that were strong enough to overcome her desire to help, even in a serious situation like a fall.

If you become known as a gossip or as someone who is untrustworthy, don't expect any help from people who know you!

Mishandling Pets

There is nothing wrong with someone owning a pet, but when that animal is not properly cleaned and trained others want nothing to do with them or their owners.

It’s not fun to constantly be interrupted by someone’s barking dog, sit on a sofa and get covered with animal hair, or tolerate animal smells when trying to visit someone?

More importantly, there is a great deal of resentment these days about people who claim to need a “comfort animal” and use it to garner sympathy, buy condos in pet free communities, travel with it on airplanes and allow it to annoy other individuals.

Furthermore, people really dislike it when they see a pet owner abusing his animal. I used to know a man (emphasis on "used to") who would keep his dog tied up for days on end and would often forget to feed and water him. I found this to be an abominable behavior, so when visiting, would take care of the poor animal myself. I couldn't report him because he was friends with my fiance, but whenever he asked either of us to help him, the answer was always a resounding "no".

Make no mistake. Many people love animals, but they are not going to go out of their way to help pet owners who mistreat their pets or use them to step on the rights of other people.

Nobody wants to help, let alone spend time with, someone who abuses their pets, does not keep them properly trained. or uses them to disrespect other people.

Nobody wants to help, let alone spend time with, someone who abuses their pets, does not keep them properly trained. or uses them to disrespect other people.

Ignoring Helpful Advice

One of the things that really irritate people occurs when individuals ask them for help or advice and then completely ignore it!

After awhile, nobody wants to reach out to people who do things like this.


  • call to complain about health problems, but when you advise them to see a doctor, they never do,
  • complain about how their adult children are involved in negative behaviors, but will continue to enable them even after you point out that as long as the parents do this, the kids will continue with their self-destruction,
  • whine about how they never seem to have enough money, but when you show them how to save, they ignore your advice.

Eventually, people who normally would try to help individuals like this, completely stop doing so because they feel like they are being used and what they are doing is a waste of time!


People get really tired of those who say their going to do something and then either never do it or put it off for so long that it multiplies their problems.

I know a woman who has needed to have her teeth fixed for more than a year. She always complains about how hard it is to eat food and how bad her teeth look, but after awhile, I just let her vent and go on my way.

There was a time when I would have been willing to lend her the money to get the dental work she needed, but I realized I’d grow old and gray waiting for her to pay it back!

Now, when she complains about anything, I just change the subject and move on!

Consistently Asking for Favors

It’s OK to ask a favor of a friend once in awhile when you really need one, but some people make a habit of doing this. It gets old very quickly.

Asking to borrow things or to have someone take care of responsibilities that are yours and not theirs are especially disliked by most people.

This is because the average person has all he can do to take care of his own business, without having to be burdened with yours.

One woman in my community left town for 6 months every year and asked a neighbor to get her mail for her while she was gone so that the local authorities would think she was still in town and would not delete her homestead exemptions.

This always bothered me because as far as I was concerned, it was a form of cheating that put anybody helping her at risk of having legal problems. So, when her neighbor died, and she asked me to handle her mail, I refused.

It was her choice to leave and to deal with any repercussions of doing so and also her responsibility to have her mail forwarded.

She was asking favors simply to get out of doing things herself, and eventually everybody who knew her stopped helping her.

There is a difference between asking someone to share information with you and asking them to do something that endanger or severely inconveniences them.

Also, after awhile, people who see your name on caller ID start refusing to answer their phones because they don’t want to have to deal with your requests!

Arguing With a Helper

Another thing that people do that drives potential helpers away is to argue with them when they are trying to offer assistance.

  • You make a suggestion, and they make an excuse for not following it.
  • You offer to give them something that will help them, and they tell you they don’t want it.
  • You offer to take them to get help, and they refuse to go.

You shouldn’t ask for help if you are unprepared to accept it because doing so wastes people’s time and energy and stresses them as well.

You might get away with doing this one time, but the next time there will be no offers of help!

Maybe It Isn't You!

Having said all of this, let me be clear about one point.

The fault for this problem isn't always yours!

There are people in this world who simply are lazy, selfish and uncaring who never help anybody no matter what because they don't feel it is in their best interest to do so.

So, if you are not doing any of the things mentioned in this article and certain people still are unwilling to assist you when you need help, the problem is them and not you.

Do You See Yourself?

As you can see, there are many reasons why people get to the point where they don’t want to be helpful.

Once burned, twice warned.

Someone who started out with the right intentions sometimes learns the hard way that trying to lend other people a hand backfires too often, so they simply stop doing it.

The bottom line is that if you are doing or have done something to cause people to feel this way, don’t blame them.

If you are lucky enough to meet new people who are willing to help you, make sure you aren’t doing anything to turn them off.

Otherwise, you’ll be creating a new slew of people who won’t want to help you!

© 2018 Sondra Rochelle


Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on April 14, 2018:

dashingscorpio: ...and therein lies the problem. Thanks for posting this.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on April 14, 2018:

Sondra, One of the problems these people have is they limit who they are willing to seek out for help.

They often keep hitting up the same folks.

I agree there are those who have "burned bridges" with family and friends or they come at them with an "attitude" of entitlement and expectation. It's helps to have a humble and grateful attitude.

"Don't worry I'll pay you back your (little two-hundred dollars)." Naturally no one wants to help a "jerk" or ungrateful person.

Some people really don't want to be "helped" they want to be "rescued". Others never seem to learn from mistakes.

Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on April 14, 2018:

dashing scorprio: This article is not about general "helping" but more about people who find it difficult to get people to help them because of the things they say and do that turn them off. The intent was to make them realize that it isn't so much that help isn't out there, but rather that they're not able to access it because of how they treat other people.

Sondra Rochelle (author) from USA on April 14, 2018:

I'm sure this is true, but I'm just as sure that a lot depends on who you are and how you behave. There are many people out there who really do drive others away because of their behaviors, and these are the ones this article is written for.

dashingscorpio from Chicago on April 14, 2018:

"While it is true that some people actually are selfish and uncaring, they actually are the minority." - Very true!

Anyone who doubts this should pay attention to (the last five minutes) of most nightly news programs. After they've filled our minds with loads of negativity from around the world they give us a "feel good" moment.

Maybe it's about some people who raised funds to help a dying child's wish come true, someone risked their lives to save an elderly person in a home that was on fire, food and clothing donated to a shelter....etc

People have even given money to panhandlers on the street!

In fact if one were to Google charities and not for profit organizations they would discover hundreds if not thousands of organizations dedicated to helping those in need. That's not including corporations that offer college scholarships or those who send medical supplies and medicines to third world countries. The Peace Corps helps underdeveloped countries meet their needs.

People donate blood to the Red Cross for (free) and there are people who list themselves as organ donors to benefit those they never knew.

Over the course of my lifetime I've seen and experienced strangers helping one another numerous times from helping to push a car stuck in snow to holding a door open for someone whose arms are filled.

Anytime there is a (major disaster) people from all over donate their time, money, talents, and energy to helping others. It's almost a given!

Ultimately I believe the people who don't see other's helping one another don't want to see it or if they do see it they downplay it.

In other instances it's self-centered people who only recall a particular instance where they {didn't know where to go for help} or the people they asked refused or were unable to help them.

It's the old adage: Ninety-nine people can compliment you but the one who criticized you will be the one you remember the most.

The key to getting anything in this world is persistence.

"Not everyone is going to say (no)."

Larry W Fish from Raleigh on April 14, 2018:

I think there are a lot of people willing to help. We hear a lot about the younger generation are just trouble makers anymore. I think we have always had those few bad apples thrown in. I have seen many younger people offer to carry something to the car for me, hold a door for me. Those little things in life, us older people appreciate.

Related Articles