You’ve heard the saying “Beggars can’t be choosers,” meaning
if we are needy and begging for something, we aren’t empowered
to choose what we want, if we even know what that is.
Well, similarly “Fixers can’t be connectors.” We cannot truly and
deeply connect with another human being if we are on our high
horse and think we “know best” for them and try to “fix” them.
Believe me. I know this terrain. I’ve been a fixer for most of my
life and still have this tendency when it comes to my mom and
Boy, this codependency pattern is a tough one to break. Because
it feels like a loss of control.
We gain a feeling of safety from attempting to control outcomes
in our favor. And if we are needing to control, it’s because we’ve
been hurt and are distrustful of people and life.
So if I’m trying to “fix” someone because I believe I know best
what will help them to be happier and healthier, how does that
break the connection between us?
Before I answer that, let’s look at some ways we try to “fix”
others because we’ve gained so much wisdom and experience.
I say that tongue in cheek. It may be true that we are wise and
know a lot more than others, but if the other person ain’t asking
for advice, we could be Jesus himself, and the knowledge won’t
land or be heard by the other.
1) We “gift” them with our wisdom when they don’t want it.
2) We advise them what to eat, drink, how to exercise, etc.
3) We explain how we’d like them to think about politics,
life, school, careers, vaccines, masks, having kids, etc.
4) We try to influence them to feel a certain way about
all of the above, to be loyal to US so we can feel safe.
5) We criticize or judge their behaviors, either verbally or in
6) We withdraw our affection and support if they do, say or
believe things we disapprove of.
After reading the above list, is it becoming clearer why fixers
can’t be connectors?
If in our hearts we believe we have superior knowledge and
wisdom than most, we will reduce “the pool of applicants” of
people who we believe are on an equal playing field with us.
If you’re like me, being a fixer is an ingrained habit. It’s a part
of our identity. We’ve build a nice little moat around our heart
by focusing our attention on other people’s lanes (their business).
As long as we focus on how to fix THEM, we don’t have to look
at our own stuff. That’s the main way this pattern serves us.
Healing our own hurt is painful and requires courage.
It requires us to stay in our own lane. It is SO tempting to
believe that THEY are the cause of our angst. But remember.
The one person or one thing that angers us controls us.
I don’t want to give any one or thing that power over me.
Here are some writing prompts to excavate the blocks
to your own power and pull out some clarity and self-guidance.
Do I know for sure that MY guidance is the absolute best
guidance for _________________?
How am I being arrogant, and how does it come from a place of
fear and insecurity? What am I afraid will happen if I let them be?
What scares me about truly connecting with another person?
At first glance, fixing others is the easier route because it doesn’t
require risk or vulnerability. It’s actually a long-term lonely route
because people don’t want to be fixed. They want to be heard, felt
This is what brings about true connection.
I realize this isn’t easy….at all. But I believe it is worth the effort.
Morgan Higdon and I will be teaching “Let Go of What They Think”
on June 26 and 27.
During this two days, we will address how to break codependent
bonds that keep us imprisoned in wearing a mask that hides our
true thoughts and feelings and “protects” our heart from vulnerable
connection. One of those bonds is trying to fix others.