Helping vs. Rescuing

[Click here to go to a print-friendly (PDF) version of this exercise.]

Here is a brief checklist for distinguishing your behaviors. If you see yourself in the Rescuer column, consider what you can do to shift yourself over into the corresponding Helper behavior.


If your life or job requires you deal with a lot of people regularly, here are some rules of thumb to keep in mind:

Seek Inner Wisdom or Higher Self’s permission as to whether an appropriate healing response from you can be offered for the specific person, place and time that is involved. Establish an appropriate exchange. If your higher self or the other person’s higher self indicates that either you or they are not in a space where an appropriate exchange is possible, warranted, or beneficial you must be willing to hear and say “No.” Honor the wisdom larger than your own need to serve or save.

Avoid burnout. Establish personal boundaries. Attend to maintaining them, regularly. Develop an awareness of your own needs—especially your need for rest, alone time, and personal regeneration. Self-renewal is mandatory. Cultivate a sensitivity for when you are being sucked in by the neediness of another. If your service is part of your job , re-evaluate your personal needs periodically. How much of a client-load you can reasonably carry?

Always remember… You cannot change or help another unless they want to change or be helped. Healing and transformation must be a choice made by the client. Some clients choose (consciously or unconsciously) not to move beyond a particular karmic pattern. This is not to say you can never help them. However, when resistance is present, significant movement is thwarted. Transformation can only take place when the person desires and will allow the change to occur.


If you would like to listen to the audio version of this article, Jacque has made a recording for you. Click on the arrow to launch and listen. You can adjust the volume and pause/resume as needed.

Helping vs. Rescuing: