I’m a fixer.
You have a problem? I’m going to do my best to try and fix said problem. I hate walking around an obvious solution. Either do it, or quite whining about it.
It might take me a while to figure out what a fix is, but once I get to it, I hate wasting time trying to find other solutions. Try it and if it doesn’t work THEN think of something else. Life is short and I have living to do.
That being said, I have come to realize that approach doesn’t always work. I’m nearing 40 now and I have been through enough in my life to understand black and white thinking can actually make it MORE difficult for the person I’m trying to help. Sometimes fixing things for folks is actually taking away from lessons they need to learn, not to mention the toll it puts on my shoulders when I try to fix everyone’s problems. (That’s a whole other post!)
I don’t know if it’s tough love exactly but it certainly is allowing folks to take responsibility for their own actions.
It’s hard holding safe space for someone when you have been down the road they are on. It’s hard not to want to shake them out of their daydreams to show them the end result of their wanderings. But it’s not my lesson to learn. It is theirs. If they are lucky, they will get a different result than I did and many wishes that they do!
So after several years of torturing myself, I learned to listen without comment, to hold that safe space even though I know they are just going to get hurt. If they ask my help, I will certainly give it. But they have to be willing to show they are accepting of that help.
I do so desperately want to help people, I always have, but the greatest help I can give is to allow them to live their lives as they see fit, and to be there when they need me.
Life IS short, and we must do what we can, while we can. I will not stand in the way of someone and their lessons because in order to get further on their journey they need to learn that lesson.
I struggled with that for a long time. Heck, I still struggle with that lesson when I see loved ones making bad decisions.
But in the end it is their decision to make, and I must respect that. Because, if they are truly friends, I respect them.