Help Is the Sunny Side of Control

Are you trying to help me, or do you want me to do what you say?

Judith Victoria
9 min readJan 30


Photo by Yash Prajapati on Unsplash

Because I love to make my life more complicated than it needs to be, I was scrolling through Reddit instead of doing my job.

(You know, the job I get paid to do. The job I am qualified to do, but I struggle with because I fill my working hours with everything except for work and then moan and complain about my unbearable and ever-increasing workload.)

A Redditor had written about her super-helpful boyfriend upsetting her blind sister-in-law. Before visiting her brother and his wife, she had already warned her super-helpful boyfriend — let’s call him SHB because that saves me some typing and you some reading — NOT to “help” her sister-in-law.

She warned him because being super-helpful seemed to be his whole identity. He was always helping people and giving unsolicited advice. So she had an inkling he wouldn’t be able to help himself and treat her blind sister-in-law like a charity case.

She had clearly explained that her brother and his wife had a whole routine down and didn’t need any help in the kitchen. She even told SHB that if her sister-in-law did require assistance, she would ask for it — so there was no need for SHB to be super-helpful without being requested explicitly.

But, of course, SHB didn’t listen. So while the sister-in-law was cooking, SHB kept “helping” her. He told her where the salt was, warned her not to get burned, and when she asked her husband for help, SHB butted in.

The brother and his wife got frustrated and politely asked SHB to stop. They reiterated what his girlfriend had already said in the car; they didn’t need any help, it made them uncomfortable, and if they did need help, they would ask for it.

Unsurprisingly, this made SHB angry. Because “he was only trying to help,” how can that be a bad thing?

I don’t remember why it escalated, but the evening was cut short when the brother and his wife asked SHB to leave. The woman agreed with her brother and sister-in-law and left with a seething SHB in tow.

He was angry at her because she didn’t stick up for him when her brother kicked him out, and now she was…



Judith Victoria

Essays on life, love, and other lousy stuff. Otherworldly flash fiction & romantic short stories. Failing forward. Perpetually amazed.