Relationships: Is There A Difference Between Helping Someone And Trying To Rescue Them?

If one was to find out that a friend or a family member is going through a tough time, there are a number of things that they could do. They could end up calling them up, or they could go and see them.

Once they have made contact, they could the take the time to find out what has been going on for them. This could be a time when they will simply be present, giving the other person the chance to talk.

The Next Step

After this has taken place, the other person could ask them for their advice or ask them to share their thoughts. Then again, one could share their thoughts throughout the time that the other person is talking.

Towards the end of their time together, they could tell the other person that they are there if they need them. Along with this, they may even say that they will contact them every now and then to see how they are getting on.


What this will show is that one will realise that the other person is an individual, as opposed to an extension of them. It will be clear that there is only so much that they can do for this person.

If they were to over step the mark, so to speak, they would end up trying to do things that this person should be doing for themselves. Therefore, instead of assisting them, they would be disempowering them.

Other Responsibilities

Through being this way, it won’t result in one neglecting other areas of their life. They are going to be only too aware of what they have to take care of in their own life, so getting completely consumed in another person’s life is not going to interest them.

What is likely to play a part here is that one will see themselves as a capable human being, which is why they see other people in this way. Thus, regardless of what this person is going through, they are not going to be a helpless victim who needs to be saved or rescued.

Ready to Help

Now, this is not to say that one wouldn’t be willing to neglect certain parts of their life for a short while if someone they knew needed a lot of support. What it comes down to is that if they were to do something like this, they won’t see themselves as some kind of saviour.

Also, they will know that there will come a point when it is time for them to take a step back, to make sure that they don’t interfere with the other person’s life. It might have taken them a little while to get to this point in life.

Another Scenario

Alternatively, after one has spoken to a friend or a family member who is going through a tough time, they could end up telling them what they need to do. Ergo, regardless of whether they have asked for their help or not, they will give it to them.

Or, they could offer their unsolicited advice before the other person has even explained exactly what has been going on. The other person is then not going to be seen as a capable human being, they will be seen as someone who needs to be saved/rescued.

A Natural Response

If this is how they see the other person, and they might not even be aware of this, it is not going to be much of surprise for them to behave in this manner. This will stop them from realising that they are crossing the other person’s boundaries.

Other areas of one’s life are then likely to end up being neglected, in order for them to try to fix the other person. At the same time, one could be in a position where their life is not very fulfilling.

An Escape

Even so, they could present themselves as someone who is strong and has it altogether, only for this to be a facade. Deep down, they might feel incapable and as though they need to be saved.

Their need to try to rescue/save another person is then going to be due to the fact that this person reminds them of what they have disconnected from within themselves. Solving what is taking place externally is then a way for them to keep what is taking place within them at bay.

More Harm than Good

Out of their need to avoid themselves, they are not going to be able to see how destructive their behaviour is. Their behaviour will also be a way for them to prove to themselves that they are capable, with rescuing others a way for them to try to do this.

If the other person wasn’t out of touch with their power to begin with, they might soon end up this way after one has been around them for a little while. One can end up feeling empowered as a result of another person being dependent on them.


If someone finds that they have the tendency to rescue/save others and that they find it hard to simply be there for others, it can show that they are carrying wounds from their early years. To change their behaviour, it will be vital for them to get in touch with the part of themselves that needs to be saved.

One way of looking at this would be to say that their inner child is carrying a lot of pain, and that this part of them wants to be heard. Through connecting to this part of them and grieving their unmet childhood needs, it can allow them to grow.


This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist or a healer, for instance.