Limits In Defending and Supporting Others
General Thoughts and Fun Topics

Limits In Defending and Supporting Others

An interesting event occurred recently which makes me think back on how everyone has different expectations in regards to how far a person would have to go in defending or supporting another person to show that they genuinely care about the other person’s well being. The event was actually very business related as well and it will definitely cause some split opinions on the issue. For privacy sakes, I will call the two people Bob and Joe.

Bob was a supervisor for a very fast paced company and has a very low key personality. He would often go with the flow without trying to be too ambitious and would rather hide in the corner whenever conflict or challenge came up. To help him was Joe who was one of Bob’s employees. Joe was quite the opposite as he was a go getter and was always willing to try new things and if a challenge was presented he would jump right in front of it. Incase anyone thinks it is weird that based on the personalities the roles should be switched, the scenario actually was like this.

One day, Bob was pressured by the people higher up in the company to perform better as the company was struggling to meet its target. Not really sure what to do, Bob went to Joe for help. Feeling sympathetic about the situation and wanting to help, Joe decided to go out of his way and to try his best to make the situation better. During that time, Joe had to defend Bob many times as he would often get criticized for the poor results and was ridiculed by others. After a lot of hard work, the company exceeded its target and everyone was happy. Bob also expressed his gratefulness to Joe for his help and support.

A few weeks later, an unfortunate event occurred as Joe was being targeted by some of the higher ups in the company as apparently a rumor was started about something that he apparently did. This created a lot of commotion and when Joe told Bob about the event in question, Bob definitely knew that it was not true. At this point Joe needed support from Bob, but unfortunately he decided to not get involved. When asked why not, Bob mentioned that he wanted to remain neutral to avoid any confrontation that could jeopardize his own position and current relationship with the higher ups and expressed that he would help in any other way that he can. As one would expect, the conversation didn’t turn out too well.

One side of the opinion that I hear from others is that Bob was justified in not getting involved as although he knew that the rumor was untrue, he had no direct involvement in the situation and considering the type of personality that he has, it would be unfair to expect him to take charge of the situation. The other side of the opinion is that many feel it is ludicrous that based on what Joe has done for him, there should be no question that he should provide full support regardless of the possible repercussions in doing so.

So which side of the fence would you be on? Personally for the above event, I would favor the opinion that Bob should have done something about it. In my opinion, people that say they are just afraid or want to remain neutral in situations like that where their presence would have a direct impact in rectifying the situation are being selfish. For myself, when I personally go out of my way to help people, that doesn’t mean that they are now in my debt and are then obligated to pay me back in some way. However, in a situation like the above, it’s the principles on the fact that someone went beyond their boundary to help a person and if the other person doesn’t even try to step beyond their boundaries to do the same during a crucial time, they can’t help but to feel a little betrayed. If you expect someone to go out of their way for you, then in my opinion it is only fair to provide the same in return.

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