Mother Teresa Syndrome

My first ever coach was awesome, but near the end of our 12 week program I started to get anxious.

I was training with an open mind, so when he started encouraging me to use scripts and templates to entice a client to sign up to another round of coaching when their first program completed, I reluctantly gave it a go, even though it didn’t feel right.

The anxiety, of course, was knowing he would do it to me.

Sure enough, he made me very uncomfortable by forcefully trying to sign me up to do another program even though I didn’t need it and it was time for me to go off on my own for a while.

I wasn’t strong enough to say No, and so I signed up again. It was helpful, but the experience soured our connection.

And this is something I’ve come to call Mother Teresa Syndrome.

Mother Teresa is widely lauded as this wonderful altruistic person, but journalists have since debunked this idea and shown that she deliberately kept people sick and denied them healthcare so that she could be their savior, rather than actually helping them.

This is what a lot of us do. I’ve been guilty of this myself, many times.

We try to force our help on to people. We tell ourselves they need it and we’re the best person for them. We’re blind to the idea that maybe they don’t need us or there’s another person who’s better for them right now.

So we have to be careful when we’re offering or assisting on helping someone.

Are you really the best available resource? Because there’s a good chance you’re not!

For more on this topic, check out my video “How to help your Nice Guy husband be more masculine”

One Response

  1. The way I’ve learned to avoid making this mistake is to ask for permission before helping someone. I don’t always remember to do it though!

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