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18 People Describe The Moment That Made Them Quit Helping Others

Updated December 3, 2020 20.5k votes 2.2k voters 65.9k views18 items

List RulesVote up the most frustrating stories of charity gone wrong.

There are plenty of good Samaritan stories out there on the internet to help warm your heart on colder days. But what about when a good deed goes wrong? Maybe that supposedly kind gesture wasn't actually welcome, or necessary. Or maybe the recipient of that goodwill isn't exactly grateful, or even deserving. 

It's those latter cases that made the helpful humans below give up their charitable ways. These are the unfortunate stories of those who learned the limits when to stop helping someone, or found out that helping others but getting nothing in return can sometimes turn into a vicious cycle that's hard to escape.

  • 5

    No Thanks Were Given

    Posted by u/ScammerC:

    My mother and her new husband had moved into a new place and invited all the "kids" over for Christmas.

    In previous years we would buy a whole turkey dinner from somewhere so no one (me) had to cook, so imagine my surprise when my husband and I walk in, my mother walks out of the kitchen, hands me a spoon and says, "Good, you're finally here," and goes to sit down in the living room.

    After a quick and awkward conversation, it was determined that my job was to make sure everything currently in progress (or not even started) got to the table on time, while everyone else socialized. Basically, I was the help, and should have realized that, so any feelings I had about that were my fault. I was a good cook, and my mother taught me everything (not) so I owed her.

    So I did, and not knowing the family dynamics, my new step siblings were very thankful and appreciative of all my efforts, which caused a meltdown from my mother about how we all should be thanking HER.

    That was the first time I used a phrase that has come in handy for these situations, "I'm so sorry, it will never happen again."

    And it never did. They weren't happy when they finally realized what that meant.

  • 6

    Teacher Learns A Sad Lesson

    Posted by u/mynameissarah:

    I'm a teacher. A parent of a former student contacted me in an emergency situation, couldn't afford to pay bills, and needed help. She was super helpful to me in my first year teaching, so I asked friends and family to help out and raised her about $2,000. Never again. She has contacted me every few weeks since then, always with a new reason why she needs more money (and when I offer food and clothing resources, she refuses it). It has placed me in such an awkward situation and I regret ever trying to help her out in the first place.

  • 7

    Friend Without Benefits

    Posted by u/bad*ss_panda:

    Had a friend years ago who was a bit self centered & prone to stretching the truth, but he was a nice enough guy with a rough backstory and my friend group liked him, so I cut him a lot of slack.

    I like to host and I have friends staying over pretty regularly -- back then, I usually had one or two people spending the night on any given day. Anyhow, over the span of a couple of years this guy starts abusing that - staying over for days or even weeks at a time, eating my food and drinking my liquor without contributing, that sort of thing ... I sit him down one day and let him know he's gotta head home, and that he's free to come over and hang out but I'm not comfortable with him staying over for the time being. He leaves, I think it went remarkably well and head out to work... and it turns out that he broke in while I was away at work and stole a bunch of my sister's things because "his birthday was coming up and neither of us even thought to get him a gift."

    It takes a special person to rationalize how burglarizing someone is really their fault.


  • 8

    Just A Few Weeks, They Said

    Posted by u/Lobobster:

    Alright, my time to shine.

    Had a friend, let's call him Mark, who was going through a breakup and needed a place to stay for a couple weeks while he landed a new apartment... Sure, what the hell. Honestly just happy to see him getting out of the toxic relationship, so whatever I can do. Well... They worked it out, or "decided to keep trying." Their lease was running out though, so can they both stay here those two weeks while they search? They'll keep to my spare room, they say. Only bring the minimum of things they need, they say. Won't even know they're there, they say. Hoo boy! These are now red flag phrases for me forevermore...

    Fast forward. My friend staying for 2 weeks has turned into my friend, his abusive girlfriend, and their dog staying for 3 weeks... Then 4... With no apparent end in sight, because they're applying for certain kinds of housing and the approvals keep falling through. Fed up, I finally said as politely as possible, "here is your move out date. If you're not approved the week before this, figure out plan B because I need my house."

    Well the week of reckoning finally arrives, and Laura tells me they're waiting on final approval... and that it should be resolved in two more weeks. Two. More. Weeks.

    So I said "bummer, where you going to live for the week in between?"

    She did not take this well. Pouted, waited to get Mark alone to tell him how offended she was, and instruct him to tell me to apologize to her... Which I laughed at and refused. She then started a text-based tirade against me for throwing them out, being a sh*tty friend, "sorry we needed help" woe is me, etc etc. This spun up into a full narcissist meltdown over a few hours and crossed more lines than I care to remember as she accused me of being every kind of sh*tty character you can name. They moved out the next day and I changed the locks that night. They actually moved in with her dad for the interim, which it turns out was an option all along, just not as cushy for Laura's ego as squatting at mine. Moreover, sometime during week 5 we all agreed that with this dragging on as long as it did, I needed some rent from them for the second month. Never saw a dime.

    When they broke up for good a couple months after, Mark had the gall to call me up, try to insist on a face-to-face meeting to "brainstorm places for him to stay." No, Mark. You're hundreds of dollars and at least one apology in the hole already, and I can't trust you not to wedge into my house long-term anyway. Last time I'll ever have roommates. Last time I'll ignore my gut feeling to be generous to a fault, too.