Up to a certain point, there wasn't any harm. I still like to think I've done a lot of good (forum examples of my advice: 1a, 1b, 2, 3a, 3b), although I now attribute my successes more to the fact that I was a trustworthy, sympathetic friend who asked tough questions and actively listened to the answers and less to my illustrious analyses.
However, there were signs that my interest in playing therapist was unhealthy: First, I was taking it to the point of lost-cause altruism in some cases, which ran conspicuously contrary to my official Nietzsche-Rand morality. Second, I curiously had difficulty seeing the merits and enjoying the company of people who had no use for my therapy. Third, I took spirited offense at one such person's goodnatured suggestion that I seek therapy in order to revisit my severance of my relationship with my parents. Blackwater gave me a taste of my own medicine for the second and third symptom; here's a quote from an email he sent me not too long before I started this thread (courtesy of Google Translate and some editing by me):
(What, your friends don't send you mails like this one? )If we turn to Christian, I simply do not understand why the two of you regularly end up quarrelling at preparties and the like. It is possible to have a cool relation to someone without constantly coming into conflict. I have had such relations with various persons in the circle around us without it causing disturbances. But you and Christian regularly land in toxic exchanges. For the record, I feel very sure that you have both done your part, and Christian certainly has his shortcomings, but you should still be able to slip through preparties and the like without e.g. participating in discussions in which Christian also participates. (...) Perhaps you did not quite see where I was headed when I brought up Christian's suggestion that you get therapy and your characterization of his suggestion as an 'indictment'? I have - ever since that time 1.5 years ago - speculated whether it was a kind of Freudian slip on your part. As if your internal representation of visiting a psychologist was that it was embarrassing, weak, a stain on one's honor; - Something you could 'accused' of. That would at least be congruent with an understanding of oneself as a 'superior'; [Economica] who sends her friends to the psychologist, but who is herself above that kind of wretchedness.
Jennifer and InaF3157's takes regarding motivation are similar:
Today, after a lot of soul-searching, I rather think I must have managed to expand (my own perception of) my social value; at any rate I no longer feel that urge to get at people's problems and solve them when there's nothing in it for me (and by nothing, I mean nothing, including the thrill of a challenge). In fact I can't even recall when I last used my standard, almost always rewarding conversation opener: "So, how's your relationship with your parents?"
raz1337, the fact that you feel, sorry, think that:
... And yes, I'm aware of the irony of this post, considering that I'm claiming the past tense for my own compulsive advice-giving.