I admit! I have absolutely been guilty of it, trying to “fix” someone, and still am from time to time. Especially when it comes to my kids. This is how my thinking goes: “Why can’t they just listen to me?? I KNOW this is the right way to do this. It WILL save them from so much struggle and pain! They just need to listen to me and do as I say!”

There are so many instances where I want to lecture one of my children or someone close to me and just want them to “fix” their behavior or change a choice they are trying to make, because I know it will be better for them.

However, if I look deep inside myself, any time I have had a strong urge to fix someone, it’s because there is some kind of insecurity inside of ME in regard to that situation or circumstance.

Here is how it can be broken down:

1.The possible outcome of the situation (which is totally made up by my mind based on fear and prediction) triggers feelings inside of me.

2. I am not able to deal with those feelings: they feel scary, overwhelming, and a threat.

So as a survival mechanism, I try to save myself from the difficult feelings and try hard to change everything and everyone, so I don’t have to deal with those feelings.

Are you recognizing yourself in this story? You have probably been on both sides: expected to get fixed or the person who expected someone else to simply fix themselves.

The truth is…

Most of the things we try to fix in others are things we were not allowed to do as children, so now it triggers a response in us when we see someone else doing that. Especially, if not exclusively someone you are emotionally attached to.

Also, the things that we want to fix, are things we were shamed for. When seeing someone else do it, again, especially someone close to us like our children, we try to stop them, so we can save them from that “shameful” feeling.

That is right! Trying to “fix” someone is more of a survival response than rational advice, because to humans, from a survival point of view, one of the worst things that can happen, is being outcast and not belong to a group. And the feeling of shame, can cause that rejection.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting we don’t give advice to our loved ones at all. However, advising and guiding someone is very different than trying to “fix” them.

When it comes to fixing someone, we are usually more rigid, sharper with our tongue, we show irritation and frustration, and impatient with the results. This is because when we want to “fix” we operate from fear.

The next step forward…

So next time you have that strong urge to change your child, or another loved one, pause and notice that a survival response is being triggered in you.

First tell yourself: “This is not an emergency. I can guide and advice, instead of fix.” There is no urgency, you have time, to help someone important in your life, come to the conclusion THEMSELVES that they need to change some of their ways.

Second, understand that real change comes from within… A realization must happen, a breakthrough needs to take place. As humans, as soon as we reach adolescence, we LIKE to take decisions and be in charge. We don’t like someone telling us what to do and ESPECIALLY not if it’s said in a harsh way. So let’s understand that real change never comes from us, trying to “fix” someone.

And third, ponder on WHY this specific behavior in a person close to you, is triggering a “fix it” response in you. Why do you feel so strong about this? What fear is lingering in your mind? Was this something you were not supposed to do/say/be when you were little?

Choosing inner change over simply obeying…

And when it comes to our loved ones… do we simply want them to obey and make the change we want them to make…blindly? Or do we want them to come to the realization that this change is what they need in life, for the sake of their dunya and akhirah, and chose the higher road?

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