Tuesday, 13 August 2013

'Good Deed' Smugness.

You know how annoying and frustrating it is when someone offers help, which isn't actually helpful, but they are so convinced that they are doing a good deed that you can't actually stop them or change their mind?

Well, I think I shall have to be more patient with them.

I'm not saying I'll always sit back and let them help, but I'll try and be more respectful and positive in my refusal. Why?

Because yesterday I did a 'Good Deed' helping out another disabled person.

I was shopping at a petrol station (M&S food. Mmmm.) and heard someone beep their horn. And again 3 seconds later. Then lots of times in a row. I looked through the door and saw a van with the occupants trying to get the attention of the staff - waving their blue badge and trying to ask for assistance. I went to get a member of staff, but then one walked out past me. I assumed they were going to help. But no. More beeping - I looked out and said staff member had gone off to do their own thing. And still none of the staff were the least bit interested in the beeping or the blue badge being waved at them. This time I accosted a member of staff and politely asked them 'Do you realise that the beeping is someone with a disability asking for assistance?' Staff went to help, problem solved.

And guess what? I felt all good. I'd helped. I felt needed, useful, like a good citizen. And smug. Yes: self-righteous, 'better-than-everyone-else' conceit.

But never fear, the smug delusion quickly shattered as I approached the vehicle and said:

"Hello random stranger, have a business card, you might want to buy my stickers."


  1. 'All good and smug'? Is smugness what you really want to express here? You use this word alot in your blog. Although I'm sure you don't mean it to, it can seem a bit unpleasant, and might get people's backs up, because it's usually associated with a sense of superiority/boastfulness, rather than equality/friendliness. It might not help to portray you or your brand in a positive light. Maybe there is another word that better expresses the light heartedness and humour you aim for, without seeming self satisfied or boastful?

    1. Point taken, but in this case smug is exactly what I meant - because having frequently observed it in others 'helping' me, I then observed it in myself. I have no problem with people feeling good about helping me - the problem is when people are so smug about helping they simply cannot hear that it isn't helping - or take deep offence when they do. I have edited the post to make it clearer what I meant.


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