By Noni Boon
The rescuer archetype is usually most evident in those who come to the aid of people in genuine need, such as those caught in a life-threatening situation. Firefighters, for example, have a profound rescuer archetype.
However, there are more subtle ways that this archetype works its way through your life. When you go to the aid of a friend who is in need, physically or emotionally, you are activating your rescuer archetype.
It is important to have an understanding of this archetype in you because you need to be able to evaluate the motivation behind why you are giving assistance to another person – and whether or not it is the right thing to do.
There are times when it is good for people to struggle because it builds their strength, independence and self-esteem. So, before you act, it is important to use your intuition to assess whether or not a person needs to be rescued.
Rescuing people is a positive thing to do provided you do it with consciousness and awareness. A healthy rescuer comes to the aid of another who is perhaps ill or emotionally wounded, and then promptly leaves when the job is done. The tricky part is knowing when the job is done.
There are some people (think damsels in distress!) who want to be rescued all the time. But these types present a problem because they can make a rescuer’s inner craving go into overdrive, resulting in them staying around far beyond the initial rescue requirement.
Always ask yourself, “What am I gaining through this?” If you are feeling needed and validated beyond what you would normally feel from briefly helping somebody, then you need to let go.
The shadowy side of the rescuer archetype may purposely set up relationships that result in the need to rescue people. For example, an underdeveloped rescuer will befriend people who are needy, weak and emotionally frail. By doing this, the rescuer feels valuable and gains a sense of strength through rescuing this poor, helpless person. This is an unhealthy situation, especially for women who enter into romantic relationships in order to “rescue” someone.
Before embarking on any rescue missions, you must first learn how to rescue yourself by making sure that all your own needs and wants are met. Once you have done this, you are good to go to the rescue of others provided your agenda is clear and intentions pure. But remember to assess every situation carefully and, unless it is an emergency, hold off before diving in to resuscitate the “victim” – wait first to see if they can “swim” by themselves. If they are clearly drowning in their situation, throw them a life jacket and perhaps help them on with it, but make a quick exit once they are safely “back on shore”.
If you feel the temptation to stick around for lashings of glory and praise, then you know that you are in it for the wrong reasons.
To learn more about your archetypes and how to achieve holistic happiness and well-being, contact Noni Boon:
0417 287 428