You Can't Fix Other People
It can be so easy to get caught up in trying to fix other people’s problems--especially if you are an empathetic person.
This is something that I see people getting caught up in and frustrated over, myself included! We tend to see our family and friends and even sometimes total strangers in a place of need making us feel responsible to pick them up and make sure they don’t hit rock bottom.
Although it is a wonderful attribute to want to help others, we have to watch out that we are not trying to fix them.
When we are trying to fix somebody we are seeing them with the perspective that there is something wrong with them. But when we are there as a supportive friend, a shoulder to cry on or a person to talk to we are able to create a far better end result than if we were to ‘fix’ a person.
When we allow someone the space to feel their feelings, or say what they need to even if it is hard to see them go through those emotions, we are able to create a safe place for them to explore healing within themselves. But when we are trying to fix a person, we are telling them what to do and how to get out of their rut--which in the long run will not last.
Another reason not to be responsible for other people’s happiness is that you are making yourself the reason for their happiness or unhappiness and girl, you do not want to be that person!
I had a friend growing up who would make it her job to ensure everyone else in the friend group was happy. It didn’t matter what was going on in her own life, she just had to make sure everyone was absolutely happy and felt cared for. Although this is a gift to be able to be so kind and caring, I witnessed a shadow side to her efforts. Just as she took credit for her friends happiness, she blamed herself for their unhappiness even if she did nothing to cause it. She would go out of her way to be there for her friends even when it meant she didn’t have time to study for a test or would get in trouble for missing dinner with her family. It was a downward spiral of negative consequences to her kind actions.
If you find yourself as a ‘fixer’ kind of person like I do, make sure to be responsible for your own happiness before helping those that you love. Be kind, compassionate and helpful and also make sure you allow space for other people to live their own process.
What kinds of things do you do to make sure you are taking care of yourself along with your loved ones?