I'm a watcher by nature which is a useful attribute for a counsellor. In response to what I was reading on my timeline on twitter last night I commented that 'twitter at times is like an episode of the rescuers'. What I meant by that is that some tweep will make a provocative statement about their current health or mental state or perhaps they have a tale of woe as to how someone has behaved badly towards them and then other tweeps with rush to their aid. You could ask what is wrong with that? Isn't a good thing that people want to help? My answer would be in some respects yes but often the tweep doesn't want to be helped they want to be noticed and to celebrate their victim hood.
The rescuer also is often interested in being noticed but they want to feel strong and good by offering help and to bask in their own virtue. They will often tell the victim that they too have been there. That they too are sensitive and can empathise. That the victim is blame free it's the other person's problem. As I'm typing this I'm debating with myself what is the difference between those responses and the help I offer. As you know I help people professionally and successfully but that success is built on the client's desire to resolve and to be helped. I get paid for the service which is confidential. I don't gossip about my clients or share information about them. I have no axe to grind and no vested interest. If the client doesn't make changes, whilst I may feel sad for them, I take no responsibility for their lack of change. I'm not there to rescue but to help the client think their way through whatever is troubling them. I don't tell them they are victims in fact I often ask them what the difference is between a victim and a survivor. I don't have a magic wand though some may think that preferable. I don't get in the hole with them but stand along side offering a hand.
I do believe that everyone has a right to their choice. I am not the arbiter of good taste nor is it my function to edit your conversations. It matters not one jot how inappropriate I think it is. I do, however, wonder at the public displays? They could after all direct message each other and keep their exchanges private? Perhaps disinhibition takes hold and they lose sight of the fact that what they say is in the public domain. It feels sad to me that they reach out in this way to people who often they don't really know. They only know what they each project on twitter? I won't disclose names or an actual scenario but I heard quite recently of a tweep being duped by a twitter fantasist. The tweep's feelings were really hurt because she'd swallowed the story hook, line and sinker. She was angry with the other tweep and she was angry with herself. My suggestion is if you want to rescue then that's your choice but do it with your eyes open and please do encourage the victim to do it privately. Then please don't complain when you don't succeed and you become the victim of the ungrateful recipient of your largess.
Please Note: I am not suggesting that anyone sets out deliberately to become a victim, nor am I saying that the rescuer sets out to rescue in a cynical way, I am talking about emotional and unconcious processes.