Let’s Talk

Fixing Others — Part 2

Q. Why else do we attempt to fix other people?

A. Let’s Talk! Fixing others is often our own need for importance leaking out. Sometimes when I hear advice being given without being asked, I shudder. The message communicated by the fixer may be a good one, even very thoughtful; but the feeling of being lectured to often cancels any truth that we might receive from the fixer. We need to not only respond to others with compassion, but also respect and validate that the hurting one probably does know what to do next. A positive response might be: “How do you see me helping you?” Or “How can I pray?” Or “May I share some thoughts I’m having?”

Somehow, we substitute giving advice as fixers instead of listening. It sadly comes across as false pride: “I know better than you” is the veiled message. When we deliver truth, we often think that it will solve the problem and bring comfort, but giving truth without compassion misses the mark. How many of us have even seen truth used as a weapon? Ouch.

Another reason fixers fix is to tell others how to be or how they should feel. But, we need to be sooooo careful not to tell others how they should feel, in any form. Coming from a good heart, you don’t want friends to hurt; but delivering shoulds is not beneficial.

This chatter about fixing others is about friends and family dialogue. Certainly if someone has asked for help from a professional, the professional gets to more proactively deliver all the intentional help needed; however, they too will approach helping with compassion and respect.

In summary – for our hurting friends or loved ones – before we hit the fixer button, we can ask how we might help. Ask to be invited in! I absolutely do love truths, especially God’s truths. They have liberated me in countless ways. But I like being invited in before I share what I believe is truth. That’s why I like answering your questions! I wouldn’t be comfortable just rattling off information and dispensing truth unless invited in. We are in this life-learning together, side by side.

For Deeper Reflection on the eternal source of comfort and peace:

2 Thessalonians 2:16–17 “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word.”

2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace Himself continually grant you peace in every circumstance. The Lord be with you all!”
Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.