A Letter To Those Who "Fix"

A Letter To All Who “Fix”

May 15, 2016 | Posted in: Chronic illness and relationships, Chronic Life, Enjoyable Nonsense, Relationships

Dear “Fixers,”

 

Please.Stop.Fixing.Us. We, the “fixees” beg you. Like salesmen, you come from the woodwork, eager to save us, the chronically ill, from ourselves. Like salesmen, your intentions are (mostly) good. The outcome is another story.

Fixers, we love you– but you make us want to pull our faces off. Click To Tweet

Way back in the day, before we had a good grip on things like mental illness, my grandmother would get flustered and say, “That T.V. is so loud, I feel like I need a nerve pill.” I don’t know if my grandmother ever had a nerve pill in her lifetime, but I know that you make us want to give you one.

Us: “It’s a beautiful day out today.”

You: “It’s funny you should mention that because number three on my list of things I aim to fix about you is your current level of inactivity. Perhaps, you’d like to go for a walk?”

Everything we say or do is an invitation for “fixing.”

Fixers, I hate to tell you this, but you give yourselves away. Your conversations are filled with the fixing you are doing and hope to do in others. Yes, your cousin has already declined your wisdom on the merits of natural cleaning products around the house seven times, but surely the eighth time will do the trick. Fixing is always just outside of your reach and on your mind. Yes, your friend has already told you fourteen times she’d prefer to breastfeed on your girls weekend, even if it’s inconvenient in your eyes. But you will not be deterred. You will fix this. You will help her see how much easier bottle-feeding would be.

Nothing is beyond the realm of your expertise or would-be influence.

Precious fixer, we know you wish we did things differently. We know you wish we handled things more like you would. But we don’t. Let it go? Breathe. It’s not your job to fix us. It’s God’s. You can trust him with us. Let Go. You’ll feel so much freer. You may even look less like you need a nerve pill, whatever that is.

And if you should forget, let this wise young woman remind you:

 

 

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14 Comments

  1. loriwildenberg@q.com
    May 16, 2016

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    Stacey,
    This is so great. I am guilty of being a wanna be fixer for my young adult kids! I soooo want to help them figure life out the easiest way possible. But…they have to do it themselves and when they invite me into the fold I am so willing to be a part of it! Thanks!

  2. Stacey Philpot
    May 16, 2016

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    Yes, Lori! It’s all about the invitation! And there’s a difference between loving and fixing. The end goal of loving is always loving, even when hard truths must be spoken. The end goal of fixing, on the other hand, is always fixing.

  3. BriannaLGeorge@gmail.com
    May 16, 2016

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    HA! Oh man. I am a fixer. I TRY not to be, but my heart can’t stand not being able to DO something. I have learned instead of saying or suggesting the fixing I pray about it. Sometimes it still spills out, but usually only when people specifically ask for my advice.
    I think a big thing to ask ourselves (not just in dealing with those with Chronic illness) is are we trying to fix people because seeing the trial makes us uncomfortable and we want to be comfortable or because they are uncomfortable and we want them to be comfortable? What is my motive and focus for wanting to fix? Me or Them? That thought has stopped me from being so verbal with my fixes. 🙂
    Love you friend.

    • Stacey Philpot
      May 17, 2016

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      And while we’re never promised a discomfort-free life, I think it’s important to stop and pray about whether it’s the time and we are the people God wants to use for whatever we are convinced needs fixing.

  4. Alex
    May 16, 2016

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    I hate it when people try to fix me. Let me be! I know how to live my life, thank you very much! But as much as I hate to admit it, sometimes it is just as easy to fall in the trap of trying to fix others…

    • Stacey Philpot
      May 17, 2016

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      I think we all do. Isn’t the road to hell paved with good intentions? Fixers are great people. They just drive other people crazy. 🙂

  5. sarah
    May 16, 2016

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    Some days we just need someone to be there to listen and not actually give us a solution. I’ve been making sure of this in my own life and just listening to listen and only giving advice when a friend is asking for it.

  6. sarah
    May 16, 2016

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    Such a good reminder to just listen. So many times I have just wanted someone to just listen and not fix.

  7. Norma Gail
    May 16, 2016

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    Guilty as charged but also know what it’s like from the other side since I suffer from chronic illness. Excellent points!

    • Stacey Philpot
      May 17, 2016

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      I, too, was once the biggest fixer of them all. 🙂

  8. tammyeddlemon@outlook.com
    May 17, 2016

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    love it!!! i overcame being a fixer in my young years . (and now i find myself the fixee in my f&f’s eyes. i can empathize with both sides (f&f =friends and family)

    • Stacey Philpot
      May 17, 2016

      Leave a Reply

      Maybe that’s a gift? A special understanding that enables you to extend grace to a degree to which you might not otherwise be able to?

  9. Heather DeGeorge
    May 18, 2016

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    I had to end a friendship with a fixer. I could never just have a problem and have her hold space for me. If she couldn’t instantly fix whatever my issue was, she lost her mind. When she needed to cry or be understood, I was there–sometimes over the course of HOURS. It was really hard to be so rejected when I needed a fraction of that. :/

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