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Are you a fixer?

Fixers are people who constantly want to fix other people.
It can be mild or obsessive.

Many men are fixers in relationships. Their spouse comes home to vent about something at work and they jump in with advice on how to fix the problem rather than just listening.

Do you find yourself offer solutions to problems more than just empathizing or listening?

Do you do it without realizing you do it?

If you aren't, do you know someone who is? If so, how do you feel about their attempt to "fix" everything.

Crimson67 8 Jan 17

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33 comments

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7

If it involves hand tools, measuring tape, or WD-40, then yes, I'm a fixer. If it involves me giving advice, I learned to use evasive maneuvers a long time ago. Not walking into that bear trap again, haha.

I will say that while I understand that sometimes someone just needs someone else to listen to them empathically, men are conditioned from an early age to be problem solvers--so punishing them or getting upset with them for doing what comes naturally seems problematic, too. This is where open communication helps cue the listener as to what their role is supposed to be...

7

I ask my wife to let me know if its not something I need to fix. She says hey... just listen...lol That's so I will pay attention to what she has to say. In most cases I am a fixer. But only in our house. I just listen with other people. I even cut the radishes for our salads. Her hands shake and I'm worried about her cutting herself.. she's done that before. We work together at our house. I mind my own business everywhere else... I also don't need to rescue any ladies in here..... y'all some adult ladies and you can defend yourself.

@witchymom. I wasn't always smart. 25 years ago I threw my second wife's cousin up against the wall because he rolled a Sunday school paper and popped her in the head. I knew something about him and what he had done to her and it always had me troubled. I blew up and had my left arm in his throat with my right hand fixing to hit him. It took all the guys to pull me off. My ex-wife ran out saying she could handle herself. To me she was always dodging him because of what he had done to her. Yep... I was.... the bad ass in trouble with her whole family because of what i did. I may of been wrong about what i did, but he never give me dominate look again. And he never put his hands on her again... hmmm.... my ex wife also saw the bad ass in me. I thought she knew this before we got married... anyway I learned from some other females when I asked what i did wrong...lol.

@witchymom your normal reaction with your children has probably been developing since they were born. I know it as normal protective parenting. But yes we do slip in the rut and forget to recognise the emerging individual and frequently short cut to the solution that we would use. Now if your children learn to say straight off "my solution to this problem which I wish to bitch of about is xyz and I'm bitching because ..." But you see there I go dropping into offering, what I was trained to do in my work, solutions, not talk fests trying to design racehorses that usually produce three legged donkeys! 🙂
Enjoyable post witchymom.
@BucketlistBob I still don't comprehend what you did wrong. My m in law once threatened to put down her family dog that my w was still very attached to. She did this deliberately knowing that it would upset my w. She was told by me in no uncertain terms over the phone never to do it again and she didn't.

@FrayedBear. The females told me that my ex-wife could of turned around and jump all over him and I took that opportunity away from her... damn... you live and you learn.

@BucketlistBob Sounds like you married an Amazon or Black belt 5th Dan karate expert?🙂
But weren't we taught to be chivalrous and protect our women folk from an early age? I bet that you still walk down the footpath (sidewalk in your english?) on the road side of your partner in order to protect her?

@FrayedBear. Yes sir.... I do.

@BucketlistBob 🙂 getting to know you 🙂 hello. I look forward to years of 'virtual' conversations.

@FrayedBear. It's all good Bear...we friends.

6

Nope. I'm a firm believer in "fix it your damn self!"

No teas and sympathy?

@Treasurehunter That's completely different. Being sympathetic and listening to someone work through their process is totally different than trying to "fix" anything for anyone.

@KKGator Oh right. I have misread what you wrote, I thought it looked a little like"Bugger off, fix it your damn self".

@Treasurehunter Well, depending on who it is, and whether they're constantly looking for someone to fix their problems, it could very well be a "bugger off". I generally don't associate with people like that though. I don't have the patience.

5

In the past, I was referred to as Ms. Fox by family members. I was given this nickname in reference to Mr. Wolf in Pulp Fiction. (Where Harvey arrives to help Vincent and Jules clean up the mess.) I have no children but plenty of nieces and nephews. So when parents would find condoms or drugs...they would call me to "set them straight". I never set them straight. I only offered facts and let them come to their own conclusions. I never saw myself as a fixer, but more of a problem solver. I try to be mindful when approached for help or advise. Now I simply state, "I can't help you and I can't advise you...but if you want me to share my opinion on the matter, I'm more than happy to do so." I've learned to listen more, and only speak when the individual is willing to listen.

Nena Level 6 Jan 17, 2018
4

I have had many relationships go south over just such problems. Then I read Men are From Mars----- and found out what was going on. My reaction to that book was; "Why didn't someone tell me this back in High School?" It would have saved a world of grief, for me and many really nice ladies.

A woman is just wanting to vent and a man thinks she is asking for help. A man cannot help loving a woman that makes him feel like a hero. She can do this by asking for help. So the man is on top of the world and sets out to help. Then she gets mad and says; "You don't listen to me." The man is totally confused and feels like he is being attacked for no reason. And another relationship that showed so much promise, is heading down the toilet. Been there, done that, so many times. Sad, sad, sad.

I read the same book in my teenager years and thought it brilliant - until I realized that, while it does a good job of describing two types of people, it draws distinctions that are very far from universal. There are “fix it” women and “venting” men, and plenty of people who fall in between or entirely outside of this paradigm. While western society does reinforce these behaviors, making them fairly common, I would say that it’s important to realize that individualism trumps these kinds of generalizations.

Absolutely, but I needed something to get me informed and thinking.

4

its my tendency/instinct to try, but ive learned to wait and see if any fixing is requested or just my ear. tricky sometimes. i kinda ask permission to help these days. I wouldn't say fixing folks tho. thats not in my bag of tricks.

3

Ha! Absolutely not.
I thought I was for 35 years but finally had to admit to myself that all my "fixing" other people's problems ever did was leave me with my own big fat mess to clean up. And cleaning big fat messes up while crying uncontrollably SUCKS.

"Help someone when they are in trouble and they'll just remember you when they're in trouble again"

It's been tough stepping out of those habits but I really am working hard towards it

I say this about 200 times a day-
"NOT MY FUCKING PROBLEM"
One day I intend to believe it.

3

My girlfriend of 25 years just called. Told her I was thinking of visiting someone on the other coast. She starts asking me a thousand questions offering all kinds of solutions to get me there asap. I didn't ask her to fix anything but she went ahead with all kinds of ideas that I never asked to receive. That's my friend the fixer-to be continued.

I'm going this week.

Going well much in common

3

I have learned how to just listen, but if the same problem keeps occurring over and over, and I keep having to sit and listen patiently to a venomous, emotion-charged report about the same situation happening yet again… which I had nothing to do with creating… it gets harder to curb my instinct to fix something!

skado Level 8 Jan 17, 2018

@witchymom What I want to say to those people is ... Why are you telling ME?! Tell the SOB who is offending you.

3

depends on the person and the problem and I do like to help but I generally wait to be asked.

2

I used to be a fixer and then realized how annoying it it when it's done to me. So now I listen, empathise and if asked for input I give it.

2

Fine line between discussion and instructing hearing not listening. ....people need active listeners who support out loud reasoning and venting

2

I found myself trying to "fix" my children's dad but soon realized that he was the only person who could do that. So no, I don't feel like I'm a fixer. I'll help or give advice if asked by someone but that's as far as I go. Now my sister in law is an entirely different person than me. She also happens to be one of my best friends since middle school so I know her very well. She is obsessed with being a fixer. Always giving her input and how she thinks you should be doing something. How you could raise your kids better? How you should clean or cook? How you should spend your down time? The list goes on and on. Most of the time I just ignore what she says. I have had to tell her to shut the hell up more then a few times because she's crossed the line. She thinks she's helping by giving her "advice", even if you haven't ask for it. I honestly don't think she realizes just how bad she is. I believe there is a very thin line between being a "fixer" and just being a plan old bitch. She crosses that line a lot. Sometimes I wonder if I would still be friends with her if she wasn't married to my brother or the mother to my nephews.

2

No, I'm definitely not a fixer. This seems to much like control to me.

1

Yep definitely a fixer. It's what I do with people I care about. I try not to be too overwhelming with it but sometimes I'm just like "the solution is literally RIGHT THERE" lol.

1

There is this relationship with this woman I respect a lot. 17 years at least... not together last 8 or so... I had moved to another state... stopped calling her. Maybe for 4-6 months but one day she called me her brother had died. I met her brother last time I saw her. How could I not try to fix her pain? So I am still her computer support. Her companion if I am in the state. Her friend date of choice... her shoulder to cry. And normally I am the one pissing her off... but this New Year's Eve she pissed me off so bad that my blood boiled and I wasn't wearing a coat and it was cold... and yes... she said... You are so mad right now that you are not even wearing a coat and is freezing... a different man I don't know what would had happened... I just looked at her and smiling I said yes. My blood went back to normal. Sometimes she is the one Fixing me.

1

I am totally guilty of being a fixer. The excitement of finding a problem to solve totally overwhelms my sense of empathy. It doesn't happen with those seeking relationship advice because I'm totally clueless in that arena. It's more usual in my role as a customer representative.

1

Men are natural fixers, for the post part, the good ones anyway.
At this point I'm too independent.

1

Yeah, I think there was some of this dynamic going on in my marriage. This isn't the forum to litigate the emotional issues in my divorce, but I do think that sympathy instead of solutions might have led us down a different path. Whether that path would have wound up in the same place? Impossible to know.

1

I am a fixer but I have learned that hard lesson. You can't force someone to fix themselfs. They have to want to be fixed. And you give advice all you want but you can't get mad when they don't take it.

1

I think that’s a characteristic of men in general. If you want something fixed, tell a guy. He’ll try to fix it. It seems to be how we’re wired intellectually. If he’s no trying to fix it, then he probably doesn’t care.

1

I am a fixer, I fix situations mostly, I can't just let things continue in a poor way unnecessarily. I help where I can, maybe I overstep. Never ask me to only partially fix something.

1

Women are looking for validation. I think to a lot of guys see validating as a reward a pat on the back for a job well done. So there is a settle difference in the idea and that is where the communications channels get scrambled.

1

Not a fixer in my relationships. Am an engineer, and do like to fix things. Or problem solve. See how it works.

1

yes i am. i am working on it though, this has come up before in a conversation with some women. so i do my best to not fix everything, even though its part of my nature. i try to let people / women in my life vent, and if they ask for advice, then give it, rather than jumping into solution mode.

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