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Most people, when they see something that's broken, want to fix it.
It could be something that is physically broken, or it could be a relationship that needs to be mended.
But the Fixer Mindset doesn't work.
You have to do something else.
The Fixer Mindset
I've worked with a lot of families in the mental health field. And there is something that a lot of parents do when they see their child struggling.
They rush in to "fix" the problem. They try to immediately make it better, often to their own detriment. This almost never works.
The Fixer Mindset is a mindset that all problems are all just a quick fix away from resolution.
If you think about your own life, how often has this actually worked? Have you ever been able to solve a friend's problems with a quick fix? Or did it require something more, a longer process to unravel what was going on for your friend deep inside?
The Fixer Mindset goes against nature, quite frankly. It's a belief system that rushes into situations without considering everything that might be going on.
So what do you do instead? What if you truly want the problem to be fixed so you can move on with your life? To do that, you have to take a different approach.
Bend With Nature
When you read the words in this heading, what did you think? Did you think of woo-woo wisdom that means nothing to you? I did at one point in my life. But now I realize the truth of it.
Bending with nature is taking a different, softer approach. It's sizing up a situation from all angles. It's pursuing a different course to get different, better results than you would get with the Fixer Mindset.
Bending with nature is going with the flow rather than swimming against the current, and this is how it looks.
How to Bend With Nature
Let's go back to the example of a friend in need.
Almost everyone can think of at least one situation in which they had a friend who was struggling and all they wanted to do was quickly fix the situation. I know I can. This time, instead of rushing into solve all the problems and wipe your hands clean of the situation, what would happen if you got your hands a little dirty? It's what nature requires, to be honest.
Next time a friend comes to you with a problem, hear what they are saying. Soften your approach so you fully understand the situation. Rather than push against them, hear the emotions behind their words--and then gently help your friend guide their emotions where they need to go. Often this is enough. Often the soft movement of emotions is enough to help your friend figure out the situation on their own.
But sometimes you need to carry the problem for a bit. Sometimes you have to be the vessel in which the problem can travel on its way to finding a resolution. Be the ship that transports the message rather than the roadblock that tries to crush the problem and push it right back at your friend. Give the issue space and time.
And if you're stuck? Think about what you would want from others. Would you want someone to quickly make a decision about all your problems and then move on? Or would you want them to help you float your problem ship to shore so that you can find a new island to walk upon?
The Fixer Mindset makes it awfully difficult to find new lands to traverse. It's only when you go with the flow that you will find what you're looking for.
It's not easy to do, but it gets easier with practice. I encourage you to try it out. And it doesn't just have to be with close friends. It's an adaptable approach that can be applied to many areas of your life.
It may seem faster to just fix a problem, but what I think you'll find is that the problem is not actually fixed. You need to give it time, space, and lots of love.
The natural approach is slower, but, in due time, it heals old wounds.