Friday, June 15, 2012

I Will Try to Fix You

Wanting to fix people comes from a wholesome wish for them to be happy. But that wholesome wish for their happiness can become distorted if we let it. There is a big difference between wishing happiness for someone and feeling responsible for their happiness. We can’t ever let ourselves feel responsible for others' happiness. We are not responsible for curing people's pain.  It is not our place to do that. It is only our place to be loving and compassionate. The person with the pain or the problem is the one that needs to do something about those things if they are going to. And if they don't, it is not really our concern. Except that we may get irritated from people complaining about their problems without taking any action to solve them. They don't have to take action to help themselves, but they can’t carry on and on about it either. They still don't have the right to dump their complaints on us constantly, and if we get sick of it, we should let them know.

The next time someone complains, perhaps just say, “Well, what do you plan to do about it?” That is a MUCH better response than a fixing response. It keeps ownership of the problem where it belongs. If they specifically asks what we think they should do, of course, be happy to tell them, without any expectation that they will actually do it.

I will probably have to do this periodically, since it just seems like I am prone to being a “fixer,” but I hereby let go of responsibility for any and all of other people's problems. And I will continue to be an empathetic listener as long as it seems appropriate, before telling them to put up or shut up.

No comments:

Post a Comment