Saturday, December 13, 2014

Wanting others to get unstuck

It's hard being a fixer. I've been doing it for nearly 60 years. I started with my mom, trying to fix her, to make her happy whenever she wasn't. Then I worked on my sisters for a while, then my school friends, my college classmates, my roommates, my boyfriends, my coworkers, my students, my clients. It's not that I think there was something wrong with them (well, okay, with my mom, yes) but they seemed unhappy or they talked about being unhappy and I couldn't stand it. So I'd want to fix them.

Maybe it's being a sensitive, maybe it's a little too much empathy in my make-up. Maybe it's my do-something-about-it nature but when my friends are stuck, I want them to get unstuck even though I have been stuck for years in some of my own stuff. And I know that we stay stuck as long as we need to and that sometimes that's a long time.

I've been realizing that my strong desire for the ones I love to be unstuck makes me a poor listener for them. Instead of really hearing what's going on with them, I'm off in fix-it land coming up with ways they can change. Not helpful for either of us. So I'm committing to taking off my fixer hat and to keep taking it off. 

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