My name is Chris and I am a “fixer.”
I am attracted to people who have problems and think that if I only make them happy, do something different, change myself or sacrifice my time or resources they will change and be happy. Somewhere in my life I felt as if it was my responsibility to make others happy and worse yet, if they were not happy, it was my fault.
Can anyone out there relate to that?
I think many of you can…especially the women out there. Not that men cannot be fixers, but women have a natural tendency to nurture and make people feel better therefore this role of “fixer” tends to stick more with the female gender.
Here is what I have learned (and trust me, I have a lot more learning to do in this area):
- Wanting to fix others is a symptom that there is something within us that needs to be fixed. It may not necessarily be the same problem, but we tend to seek to fix someone else when we are avoiding fixing ourselves. Projection at its best!
- No one needs fixing. I know some of you may be thinking that statement is crazy. There are people in our world who are doing some crazy things! As humans, we have a tendency to want things to run smooth, feel good all of the time and not change. It is the “crazy” that makes us pay attention to what needs to be balanced and changed…not only with us personally, but with the world.
- It is never your responsibility to make someone else happy, it is theirs. Yes, things we do for others may temporarily make them feel better but happiness comes from within. It is a state of being that manifests from a sense of peace within. No one can give you that but you.
- Problems are a blessing in disguise, whether they are ours or someone else’s. They are the very thing that helps us grow and become the people we are meant to be. Problems push us to our limits, ever so painfully, to help us see what we can become and what is possible.
- We are only responsible to live our own life. I don’t know about you, but my life has enough challenges of its own. When we try to make other people’s problems ours by trying to fix the problem for them, we are meddling in something that is not our business. We are living their life and ours. How do we know that the very problem they are now having isn’t one they may need to experience to learn the biggest lesson of their lives…when they solve it themselves. We cannot take away other peoples lessons. That is exactly what we do when we fix a problem for them.
So, what to do? How do you overcome the urge to fix? Be aware of the fact that the urge to fix is an urge to control something that is out of your control. You cannot control other people’s behaviors or decisions. The only things under your control are the decisions you make for yourself, your behaviors and your attitudes. Your behaviors and who you choose to be is always the greatest teacher for those around you. People listen more with their eyes than their ears. They watch you. It is our nature. Monkey see, monkey do…remember?
A recovering fixer,
Chris Sopa is founder and owner of Chris Sopa International, Inc. You can learn more about her at www.ChrisSopa.com. Find her at Facebook.com/ChrisSopaInternational, Twitter @ChrisSopa, LinkedIn, and Google+.