How many times do you offer help?

February 6, 2023
Dark gray background with white text that reads, "If you offer help more than once, you're trying to control."

If I’m being honest, I have been guilty of trying to control others who I’m close to under the guise of being “helpful.” This was unconscious until I became aware of it. 

Don’t get me wrong, I do love to help people, and in these instances there was certainly a component of me wanting to help. However, as I have peeled back the layers of intent over the years of my recovery journey, sure enough I discovered that my motive to “help” was often rooted in me not liking the discomfort I felt when YOU weren’t doing something I thought you should be doing.

It’s natural for us to seek solutions to our discomfort, but these defenses we develop often aren’t helpful for anyone.

So ask yourself, do you offer to “help” others more than once?

If your answer is yes, ask yourself this: what if you stopped?

That may seem too absurd to even fathom, but families with a loved one struggling with addiction who choose to reflect on this and change their behavior as a result often experience far greater personal happiness!

The other benefit is they ripple recovery to those around them while creating these small changes. 

Recovery is contagious. And even the smallest changes make a difference.

This is a good one to get started with. All you have to do is watch yourself . . . are you offering more than once?  

Try taking a step back to see how you feel and observe—what happens when you don’t offer again? I’d love to hear your reflections in the comments below.

And if you’d like to surround yourself with others embarking on a recovery path, join us on Thursdays for our virtual Double Circle Recovery meeting. All are welcome.

Leave a Comment


  1. Julie Higgins

    What a great observance. I’m going to get started and I’ll report back.

    • Kate Duffy

      Yes to that level of recovery Julie!

  2. Cindy

    My sense of over responsibility kicks in… that it’s my job to fix people and solve problems in order to be worthy of safety and love…

    • Kate Duffy

      Right and you’re now re-assigning that responsiblity. Resigning from that role. You are worthy of safety and love is the new normal. Takes time, that much I know for sure!

  3. Maedon Coburn

    I am so guilty of offering help and solutions. I really appreciate being reminded to work on this. You all are so good.

    • Kate Duffy

      You are so brave to lean in. :). It’s very new to allow and let be, I get it.


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