In Discussions, Life

Stop playing the ‘Helpless Maiden’ card so often.

Nothing drives me up the wall more than a woman who acts like a Helpless Maiden.

Once in a while, you need help, fine, be sweet about it but when it starts being a habit with everything in your damn life… it begins to grate on my nerves.

To be clear — YES, I have definitely played the Helpless Maiden card a few times in my life to get help, but I’m not pretending like I am 100% useless all the time and asking for help on every stupid f*#%ing little thing.

Case in point:

A girl (yes girl) I know recently bought a condo. She is older than me, but she acts like some little lamb all the time.

She needed help to do everything from how to buy it, to what washer and dryer to pick out, to how to set up this and that. OMFG. You can pay professionals for this!!

Even for her car, she was leaning on my guy friend in particular to help her with everything (he is a bit of a sucker too, so it is partly his fault, to be honest).

She was chauffeured and basically pampered each time she was taken out to get things she needed for her place.

You don’t need other people to step in and be The Saviour. It may make them feel good the first few times but then it is annoying. Use it wisely and when you need it, not for your entire life.

The people you are asking for help are also probably not qualified professionals EITHER.


There is something called Consumer Reports that you can use to figure out what you want and what you need to buy.

Even the car I bought — I did my research on my own and narrowed it down to a short list of 10 then 5 cars before I went for test drives to decide.

On. My. Own.

It wasn’t until I got down to my top 3 that I even mentioned to my partner what I was thinking and him being a freak about cars, weighed in on things I did not consider.

But he didn’t go through my list and rate pros and cons and all this other stuff. He just saw my choices and said what he thought.

But with this Helpless Maiden, she had the guy go through and basically shortlist a bunch of cars, drive her to these dealers, etc etc… even down to negotiating the price for her in the showroom (which to be honest is something I would have done too because women are not treated as fairly and are seen as marks rather than equals in the car world.)

The washer and dryer was no different. She said she had no ideal what model to buy, what style, what she needed… I just couldn’t stop rolling my eyes.

DO YOUR RESEARCH.

Google it. Learn what you may or may not need.

Educate yourself, BY yourself. Stop relying on people 100% to give you all the information you need for free. Their time is worth something too, and helping someone out so much can become a real burden.

There is so much information online about low water washers and energy savers it is enough to make your head spin.

Learn how to ask for help on important matters, not on every little thing like PICKING OUT A WASHER AND DRYER.

What irks me the most about the Helpless Maiden routine is that you don’t need to do it.

Bottom line, you can do 90% of the work then ask for opinions but someone else shouldn’t be doing all of this for you.

Step up because if you have enough money to put a down payment on a place, you have enough brains to learn what it needs on your own.

Ugh.

SHE EVEN TRIED IT ON ME…

So she found out I was a freelancer who did everything all by myself – registered my company, did my tax numbers, file my own taxes for yearly and sales, and also do my own bookkeeping. Her eyes got Bambi-wide and she asked me if I would help her.

I cautiously said “Yes” (why wouldn’t I? I am nice and I like empowering women), but then I realized she meant that she wanted me to do ALL THE WORK FOR HER.

She didn’t mean – Oh give me some hints, like this is where you should go, get tax numbers etc – but like to actually do them for her. To take her to the registrar, to help her fill out the forms, to basically handhold her through this entire process.

NOPE. I DO NOT THINK SO. I stopped offering to help and just smiled to avoid the subject.

I don’t work for free, and I also don’t help people who think they can pretend to be useless to gain my trust or play on my willingness to help and give me nothing in return.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. SarahN

    With laptops and mobile,I just don’t know or care enough so outsource to a friend. Literally specs I give are “at least 3 USB ports” or in the past “a CD drive”. The amount of RAM or the processor speed, I just don’t know or care – cause this isn’t a performance item, it’s a frivolous items for surfing the net and blogging – so really? And when it was for uni, I was sure these classmates know what software specs might be required.

    But appliances and my car? Totally me – I know what I want. Again sometimes it’s frivolous like sterring wheel control of radio, bluetooth and backing sensors, but hey, so be it!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      To each their own specialty! I knew nothing about cars and not much about laptops .. either..

      Reply
  2. Rach

    Yes. Yes. So much yes. I am in the STEM field and nothing makes me more bonkers than to see a highly capable, intelligent woman act like an idiot to get something or to appeal to a man. Preach.

    Reply
  3. Sense

    OMG I think I am the exact opposite of this. There is a line and it isn’t good to be extreme in either direction.

    I kinda sorta wish I had the ability to ask for help sometimes. It is healthier.

    It is probably why I am still single–I get told a lot by guys that they find it super intimidating that I seem to have all my stuff together. They like to be “needed.”

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I have to say that I do agree that men in general including my partner have a need to be needed.. everyone does actually. I like being helpful and he likes being needed so sometimes I remind him of all he does for us and how happy I am we are together as a team.

      I’m not putting myself down or puffing up his ego for nothing but when he does good, he should be recognized .. you know?

      Reply

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