Say your colleague approaches you for help and you offered some directions which he or she has tried. The colleague retorts “Hello, I’m not stupid”. How would you respond?
Not that it happened in my workplace but I brought up this question because I’m thinking about the spirit that drives us to be helpful. Whether it is about being able to solve a problem, provide the psychological comfort (“you’re not alone”) or just to be liked. Almost definitely a combination of all but the litmus test is probably whether you’ll help the colleague again in the above situation – if you’ve proven to be useless and unappreciated on all fronts.
On the other hand, when you ask for help, what are you expecting from the person you ask? Are you hoping for identification, for problem-solving or relationship-building?
Humans are such fascinating creatures.