I’m a forthright person who calls it like it is (or at least how I think it is – very important point there… ahem), so I can sometimes run into a spot of bother. See, when you’re used to being open and people respect you for that openness, your filter isn’t called on all that often. It gets rusty and often doesn’t work very well.
The elephant in the room is not something I’ve ever been able to quietly ignore. So I’m either going to walk up to the elephant and slap it on the ass, or I’m going to walk out of the room and not return until the elephant is gone. “Should I say this?” I wonder. “And if I don’t say it, what would I ever say instead?” If I don’t say it, I often can’t say anything at all. There’s not a lot of in-between for someone like me.
You can imagine how many awkward conversations I’ve had over the years.
So many, many excruciating moments.
The thing is, so far it’s always been okay in the end. You can’t tell me you have a problem and expect me just to give you a kind word and a hug (although I will do both of those things, lots). Nope. If you tell me your problem, I’m going to want to fix it for you. I’m going to sit you down and pull it all out and help you unravel it and I won’t let you leave until we’ve worked out an action plan for you.
Of course, if you don’t want me to do any of those things, you can still tell me your problem. You just have to start by saying, “I’m going to tell you this, but I’m telling my friend, not Ms Fix It, okay?” Then I’ll back off. Promise. I’m a fixer, not a meddler.
The biggest problem with being a fixer, is that I’m not a very needy person. I tend to fix my own problems just as much as I try to fix others. It’s rare for me to come to a friend needing advice or help. I imagine that it’s hard to be a friend to someone like me, it must feel very one-sided at times. We all need to feel needed.
I know I must also be a rather daunting mother at times – always impatient to fix things. Probably things that don’t even need fixing. So I try to remember to back off and let life sit for a while with my kids. Allow them the space to work out whether something is a problem or not; because nine times out of ten when you rush a problem you make it bigger. I hope I am raising fellow fixers (because it’s a nice way to be), but I also hope I am raising sitters too.
Are you a fixer or do you know one?