Offering help to one another makes the community more healthy and more united. It creates connections that will blossom into friendships that serve as a foundation for a better society. However, there are times when being overly helpful can come off as intrusive and dismissive. It’s best to ask permission first or wait for the person to ask for assistance before intruding. You have to trust the capability of others to do well even when you see them differently.
More importantly, don’t overdo helping a person with a disability significantly when they are doing fine. It may seem like they need your support, but sometimes they prefer to do things alone. Being independent reminds them that they are more than their disability. Do not underestimate their skills, even when they’re blind, deaf, immobilized, etc. Try to help them whenever you can, mainly when the situation calls for it. However, if you are like Throwawayhelpfulbf’s boyfriend, it’s probably best to learn from his story.
The Redditor shared the issue that occurred during their family dinner during the holidays. It was indeed awkward and frustrating. According to OP, her boyfriend, Ryan, loves to help people around him — he’d willingly do favors even when it involves money. However, Ryan tends to be overly helpful, which OP’s sister-in-law experienced during the holidays. It was OP’s boyfriend’s first time attending a dinner hosted by her brother and his wife, Lily. Before the festivities, OP informed Ryan that her SIL Lily was blind and had already told him to minimize his helpfulness unless Lily asked for assistance.
Instead of listening to OP, Ryan still remained the way he was. “We arrived early so I could help Paul and Lily cook. While we were cooking, Ryan kept telling Lily things, like ‘Lily, if you’re looking for the salt, it’s to your right’ or ‘Lily, don’t put that there, it’s too close to the edge.’ Lily and Paul both told him that, while his commentary was somewhat helpful, it was completely unnecessary. Still, Ryan did not stop,” OP explained. His worry for Lily only created tension during an occasion that was supposed to be light and joyous. Ryan even got upset when OP tried to scold him about his behavior toward Lily.
The tension worsened when Lily and her daughters played a game their mother loved. “After dinner, the eldest handed Lily the salt shaker. When Lily guessed it was a phone, Ryan piped up and said it was a salt shaker. Lily laughed it off and explained the game to Ryan, but I could see she was annoyed. My niece then handed Lily a coin. When Lily guessed incorrectly, Ryan loudly told Lily it was a coin. This was apparently the last straw for Paul,” OP shared. It was disrespectful and uncalled for because he ruined a special moment for the family. Paul had no choice but to ask Ryan to leave.
“Ryan insisted that he was trying to be helpful. However, Lily said it was probably best if Ryan and I left. I quickly gathered up our things and managed to convince Ryan to leave,” she wrote. Although it was his fault, Ryan blamed OP for not defending him from her family. But how can Throwawayhelpfulbf do that if he was clearly dismissive and downright disrespectful? Due to the anger she received from Ryan, OP asked for an outsider’s opinion in the comment section of her post. Many Redditors stood up for her, which made her earn 20.8k upvotes. Everyone knew that Ryan’s way of helping was utterly insulting.
PeppermintMocha5 commented, “NTA. Ryan didn’t deserve to be defended there. I’m sorry, I’m sure you love Ryan, but good lord, he sounds insufferable. He wasn’t being nice. He was being patronizing. Lily neither wanted nor needed his help. He stuck his nose where it didn’t belong, and he was asked to stop numerous times. I would’ve kicked him out too.” These opinions have validated OP’s stand, and she clearly does not deserve that hate. “And he doesn’t respect anyone else’s wants or needs, only his own. Huge, huge flags,” CJSinTx said. Ryan lacked consideration for others, making his concerns somewhat of a red flag.
You can certainly feel the support for Throwawayhelpfulbf in the comment section. People were certainly invested in the issue because there are a lot of Ryans out there. You totally appreciate the support, but people need to step on the brakes from time to time. There are other ways to provide help and support to those around you. Ensure that you are giving the kind of assistance they need now. It’s best to read the room first before anything else. And to anyone who has a Ryan in their lives, the comment section is open, as OP had asks for your honest opinion about this matter.Whizzco