(KUI GITEI) Take this scenario. You’re out for dinner and drinks with friends. The bill comes. Instinctively, you grab it, calculate everyone’s share (plus tip), collect the money yourself and pay the waiter.
Or, you’ve managed to set up every single co-worker, friend or relative with a friend on blind dates because, ‘you never know, she might be the one!’
According to Diana Splecher, an O magazine contributor and author, this condition (albeit, not a medical or psychological condition) can be described as Chronic Helping Tic, or CHT.
It’s that overwhelming urge to offer your help, or sometimes just give it without permission to anyone you think needs it.
And what’s worse is that people with CHT expect an effusive rush of gratitude from those who they’ve ‘rescued’. Sound familiar?
A friend calls with the latest on her cheating boyfriend. As the good friend you think you are, you rush over to her place with a bottle of wine and spend the evening bashing all things male and call him unspeakable names. You then lecture her on self respect and tuck her in, job done.
The next day, they’re back together, despite your ‘rescue’. No phone calls from her thanking you for your sage wisdom.
So, what’s the problem with a little CHT? Love thy neighbour and all that, right? It’s biblical! The problem with CHT is that most people with it are, well, control freaks.
They love to help out because it keeps you in control of the situation.
And, CHT is also an ego thing. YOU are the one who came up with the solution, YOU are the one who can always be relied on, YOU are the bestest friend ever.
YOU, of course, are the one who deserves everyone’s undying gratitude for your selflessness.
Question is, are you doing it from the bottom of your heart or do you just want to be the one people look at adoringly with gratitude? Because, believe it or not, that’s a strong a fix as any drug can give you.
Incidentally, most people with CHT are women, because we’re wired that way, for empathy and support. And well, we also love to meddle. Sometimes. I never thought I had CHT until I read Diane’s article. But yes, I looooove to help. Because I have issues with people not liking me (a condition we shall discuss another time.)
The thing is, sometimes people just want you to LISTEN. They’ll spew out their problems, not necessarily expecting you to rush and offer a solution, but because they just need someone to talk to. And surprise, surprise, CHT peeps are not the best listeners. So, next time you have a bout of this most common of afflictions, ask yourself this: why am I really doing this? If the answer is because you honestly want to help, lovely! You’re probably going to heaven. If the answer is different, well; take a step back. That might actually make you a better friend.