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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was raised by a deeply codependent fixer and a manipulative narcissist, so I'm vigilant against fixerism.
I'm a witness: I'll be present and attentive during your distress and let you know I care. But I don't reach for responsibility that's not already mine.