Knowing when to leave “well enough” alone…

I’ve had it all of my life; this tremendous stubbornness, married with a certain self-righteousness, and a generous compassion for those in need. And united, these traits give me the desire, belief and motivation to “help” those around me. Another way to put it, is that I have a guilty affection to “fix” people.

I don’t feel the slightest bit vulnerable sharing this because I know that I’m in plenty of good company. I was raised by “fixers,” and I’m in more than a handful of relationships with avid “fixers,” at work, at home, the yoga studio – we are everywhere. I can so easily spot another fixer; we are the first to get frustrated while driving, we’re not the best at listening, but we really don’t like when people don’t listen to us. We don’t usually let people do anything for us, training our help would likely be futile. We can’t understand why people aren’t more appreciative of the time and wisdom we donate in the form of unsolicited advice, and after a concerted effort in a situation we have been known to throw our hands in the air and write someone off altogether after not obtaining our preferred results.

You may have guessed it… these “fixers” as kind and well intentioned as they may be, are always going to end up extending themselves unnecessarily, and angry, hurt or pained. These attempts to help are uninvited, and as a result, most often dismissed. When nice gestures go unappreciated, feelings are going to be affected negatively. If the fixing efforts could be turned inward, a beautiful self improvement effort could be made.  That right there, ladies and gentlemen, is our solution. To keep to ourselves from any more hurt and frustration, unmet expectations, and wasted effort – giving ourselves the assistance, kindness, and good favor is certain to be well received. These questions will help you know when to step in and help, and when to keep to yourself:

  • Is my help wanted? Has it been ASKED FOR?
  • Why am I wanting to help?
  • Is my help going to hurt or harm anyone, including me?
  • Can I give my help and let go after that?

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