Last week I was listening to a podcast that was introducing a podcast by Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue called Double Dating. Her and Phil Donahue meet with couples and learn what keeps their relationships solid and how they overcome challenges. This particular episode I was listening to they met up with well actually Marlo Thomas met up with them because Phil Donahue was sick. At one point of the conversation Marlo mentioned at one point that she wasn’t a good listener and how one day when Phil wanted to tell her about an issue that she was having that he told her not to try to fix him. She was like I’m a fixer. She was like I have a habit of trying to fix people. When she said that’s me too. I was just super shocked.
I could relate so much to what Marlo said because she described me. I am always trying to fix people or situations for other people. My main victims are my husband and kids. If there is anything that needs to be fixed I will totally try to fix it. I have been known to completely take over situations for my kids because I thought I could fix it better than them. I’ve also done the same to my husband. If I’m honest most times they sometimes don’t even ask me for help I just start fixing it. Sometimes I think with my kids they are so used to me just stepping in that they don’t even fight me on it anymore. Plus because they know I’m going to try to fix it they don’t even try to fix certain things. Which of course is unfair to them because they should be able to figure things out on their own. With my husband my fixer tendencies would put a strain on our relationship from time to time. He told me a few times that I thought he was stupid when I would take something over or told him how to do something in a way that I thought was better. In my mind it’s nope I don’t think you’re stupid I just think my way is better. Yep I was just that crazy with it. I thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with what I was doing.
I know you are probably wonder why am I focused so much on other people’s problems rather than my own. Cause trust me I was wondering the same thing as well. I know there’s a great deal that I need to work on. But for me one way I feel positive about myself is to help others. I felt and still feel sometimes that if I am a hot mess myself I can feel great by helping others. So for me it is easier to focus on other people’s issues rather than my own problems. I basically thought doing this would hide my own mess which obviously didn’t actually work very well. I would drop everything that I was doing to help others and then that would be my excuse as to why whatever I was doing with me didn’t get done. I mainly wanted to get the attention off of me.
Now that I realize that I’m a fixer I’m kind of seeing things in a new light. Like I can see how someone can feel like I think I’m better than them because I just want to fix things my way. Because I didn’t even try their way, give them a chance to do things their way, or figure it out on their own I made it seem like they didn’t know anything. This fixer thing is making me lose my mind because I am always trying to fix something and it is affecting some of my relationships. I can look back and see where I actually wasn’t being a good listener and just trying to fix people instead. I am beginning to recognize when I am a fixer and when I am being encouraging. Sometimes I literally have to catch myself before I start taking over a situation or becoming overbearing with the situations. I am learning to check myself when necessary. Let me tell you. I have to constantly remind myself that I am a work in progress. Plus it isn’t easy at all. Especially when it comes to my kids. They will tell me something and I will start to see ways they can fix the situation and then find myself slowly starting to try to fix it. Now what I do occasionally if I remember is ask them what they are looking for from me. Do they want a listening ear or do they want advice. That helps me figure out how to help them. I just generally want to be there for them in the best way that I can.
I hope that this awareness helps my relationships to improve even more. I am really enjoying this journey of discovery that I am on. I can’t wait to see what ese I learn about myself. But this was the most eye opening thing so far. Especially when I learned more about it. It allowed me to learn a great deal about myself.