Hey! Your Relationship Shouldn't be a "DIY" Project

I’ve realized that I’m a “fixer” by nature. Maybe a “nurturer” is a better word, but whatever it is it’s got to change. I think there’s something about the female DNA that makes us enjoy a good DIY project. Whether it’s a new way to organize our closet or the thought of helping to correct someone else’s life, a good fixer upper can seem hard to resist. I know I certainly can’t. Yet if I’ve learned anything, it’s that humans can’t be “fixed.” That’s something reserved for dressers, chairs, and other inanimate objects.

When you try to become someone’s mom and take control of their life, you’re setting yourself up for extra stress and frustration. Not only will you not have success in fixing them, your own life will start to suffer as a result. As you try to manage someone else’s responsibilities, obligations, and priorities, you lose sight of your own goals and needs in the process. Unfortunately, there are so many hours in a day, and when you’re young and trying to build a career you have to whittle your “To Do” list down. You’ll probably find that you don’t have time to manage your own life in addition to someone else’s. Even if you’re able to do so for a short period of time, it will quickly become overwhelming and leave you feeling burnt out.

Sometimes we’re tempted to get involved with someone who needs “fixing” in an emotional way. You find someone who seems to be lacking something (maybe self-confidence or goals) and you become determined to add this element to the person’s life. Though you can give a person affection and encouragement, you can’t force someone to get motivated, and you can’t give him or her self-confidence.

It’s important to act as a support system for the people in your life, but know the difference between providing support and trying to supplement something that person is lacking. If your friend lacks organization, you can’t force them to get their act together. You can help all you want, but you can’t make them do it. If they lack self-esteem, you can demonstrate that they are worthy of love and affection, but you can’t make them believe it. By taking on other people’s burdens, you’re setting yourself up for exhaustion. Always provide support and advice, but don’t feel forced to assume another person’s responsibilities when you see them lacking in certain areas. Remember that all you can do is love someone and be there for them when they need you. That’s the best way to “fix” someone.

Do you struggle with this overwhelming desire to babysit other people? How do you overcome it?


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