This kind of help is often done by my husband. We will be having people around for dinner and the house will need to be tidied so he goes and cleans our bedroom.
"No one will see our bedroom," I shout up at him "Do the fucking dishes."
And then I feel bad - because he was helping. He was providing unhelpful help.
You know that saying "If you want something done right, do it yourself." That saying is directly related to unhelpful help. I thought I had made up this concept myself but when I googled it, I found I hadn't. Sad face. So this means that there are many of us that have had experiences of unhelpful help.
Examples of unhelpful help (Lisette has helped me with these as well because she understands what I mean about unhelpful help):
- Any help provided by young children - at all.
- When someone claims the snide remark about your weight was meant as a helpful little hint. Gee thanks for that. Thanks so much for reminding me that I do not in fact look like a supermodel, that was super helpful. There is nothing worse than being told by someone that you shouldn't eat that second cookie, except when they follow it with "I'm only trying to help you!" Yeah, help me feel shitty! Help me to feel like everyone is talking about how fat I are. Helping me to feel like I am a piece of fat shit on the bottom of someone's shoe. The only thing this kind of comment will help someone do, is run home, cry, and eat a whole tub of ice-cream.
- When people try to help you cook dinner in a tiny kitchen. If you want to help me cook, just stay the fuck out.
- Hovering. When people don't quite know how to help so they just stand next to you, watching you do something. Don't hover. It's off putting. If you're unsure, ask for instructions.
- When people turn up early to a birthday party on the premise of offering to help before the other guests arrive. Unless you have known the host or hostess for 10 years or more, arriving early is not helpful. It causes stress and wastes time. Instead of stampeding around the place doing 10 things at once and yelling orders at family members you have to stop, chat, smile and pretend you are kind to your family, before the early bird will actually start helping. Helpful early arrivals are the most unhelpful of all the guests.
- Shop assistants who tell you both pairs of skinny jeans look "fine".
- When alcohol pretends to help you solve your problems but actually just gives you a mean hangover and major anxiety problems.
- People who offer to clean your house, but end up scrubbing the baking trays you never clean because you just cover them with baking paper anyway. There's a filthy shower in the bathroom, clean that.
- Husbands who try to relax you by offering sex. How about rubbing my destroyed shoulders or my aching feet? My vagina is fine, thank you.