Trying to fix someone refers to whole-heartedly taking up their problems, and trying to fix it for them. It almost
feels like living their life on their behalf. Seemingly selfless, this practice can be toxic. So unless you are Coldplay,
don’t go out there, and say the F word.
One of the main reasons why we feel obligated to fix others is because we feel that we have the ‘outsider’s perspective’ on their lives. We believe that the person concerned is too involved in the problem to see all the sides, and hence, the prospective solutions. Or we might feel that the person is too afraid of the negative outcomes of the
problem at hand, that, they fail to act properly and give it a fair solution.
Loving someone and fixing them are two different things.
What we need to understand is that we can not be there for everyone all the time. There will be a time when a person would have to solve a problem on their own and they might end up blaming your absence as the reason for their
problems. You need to let go of the necessity to fix the lives of others, in order to be happy yourself and
letting other people be happy in their lives as well.
Through unrelenting guilt, the burden of other’s troubles goes to add on to our own misery. Often, we find ourselves in this moral dilemma; how appropriate is our indulgence, and how helpful is our concern for the well-being of others. An important observation is that lending an ear is often helpful, but having heard something, it is
not always the best option to offer advice. As relatable you may find the situation to be, you cannot ever possibly live through it like the person actually struggling with it. Your failure at not being able to ‘fix’ someone is not a marked disability. Experience will inform you that toxicity becomes evident when the self is strained. When the experience of others becomes too taxing for your mental health and physical health, it is time to distance yourself. It is often felt that kind people can be trusted with traumas. “Maybe she will have something wise to say about this,” you might
think, and approach a listener. But how often do you take someone’s permission, or seek their consent to indulge them in a conversation that can possibly put all the ideals of the listener to question? We all could adapt to this habit, gradually.
When the external problems start affecting the internal self, it is your cue to be on your guard. Then, you abandon your friend? Abandonment is easily an escape from your own conscience. You cannot act as a professional psychologist or a therapist, and you should not.
College life is full of exquisite experiences as it is of turbulent traumas. It always helps to find an ear, but never to fully rely on it. You can be this ear to someone. But overburdening yourself with the obligation of fixing someone else’s life would amount to nothing but disallowing yourself pace and calm. Maybe we could learn to say, “Let the lights guide you home, it is not my job to fix you.”
Feature Image Credits: Flickr