Stop its not broken..
Do not fix it…
Obsession is not an easily control habit. Every one is obsessed with some thing in one way or the other and each and every one of us has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder of some sort. Though we may not see it or others may not observe it. Often times even our closest family or friends may choose to ignore or not notice it. Hence, they too may have similar defects, thus justifying your defects with their own.
How ever there is an intervention to this type of behavior. One of first step to stopping the obsession is to get fired this means to allow ourselves not to get so caught up in other people’s lives that we loose control of our own.
STEP 2: FIXING IT
The second step is to repair it if you have a degree.
What do I mean about degree or repairing it? In first step of controlling obsession, this topic was discussed but very briefly. It’s like any job especially those of prestige. For example we all play a doctor sometimes, we all play a repair person sometimes, we all try to fix things at times, and we think we can do it but sometimes in life we just cant. We are powerless over things which we do not know and pretend to do the things we can not do and often make fools of our selves trying.
In a relationship we want to be loving, nurturing, kind, generous, understanding and most of all compassionate. But isn’t it that we want the same from our partners? Men and women both have compassionate thoughts that we must be there for our partners at all cost this means to help them release their tension. And if we do release it and help them find an outlet then they will appreciate us more. But, we must realize a person should not love us for what we do rather who we are. This may be very difficult to swallow, especially with people with co-dependent qualities.
Co-dependent qualities are mostly found or rather being birthed during early years of our lives. Often times it stems from feeling helpless in our child hood times and feeling guilty of something that you were powerless over. For example children who come from families of alcohol, drug or abusive situations or even emotionally enhanced situations are more prone to feel this than those who comes form a stable environment. Often times these children will take it upon themselves to place the blame of the addiction, emotional abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse on themselves by convincing themselves. By repeating, “If I had been a better son/daughter mom/dad/sis would not have done drugs or drank”, “If I had been there and been stronger perhaps I could have saved my mom/dad/sis/brother from being beaten or sexually abused.” There are many reasons why we could be blaming ourselves.
These triggers of co-dependency stem from our own dysfunctional thoughts that we may have not had the nurturing we wanted or we have been abused psychically, mentally or spiritually and place the blame ourselves. So it is natural to want to protect someone or fix someone or be the “helper.”
Often time this kind of behavior can either lead to the other person running away from you or they take an advantage because they too have been in situations where they may misunderstand your kindness for your obligation to them. In a relationship there should be NO obligation, it should be natural and it has to happen when we release these tendencies and focus upon being their, friend, companion, and a lover. Sometimes a good friend does not lift you up in a difficult situation but allows you to fall and waits for you to ask for help, and a true friend does not help but allows you to find your own way home and cheers you on when you are helping your self. A good friend says, if there is anything you need let me know. A good friend says, “I love you, please take care of you” and a good friend do not say, “Can I fix it for you? Should I do this or that? Do you want me to do this or that?” Most of all a good friend is simply by your side rather than impose them on to you and allow you the time and space you need to become a stronger person.
When we have fixed all our lives it is hard to break these patterns, but to do this there has to be an admission to want to adjust ones behavior. This means that you do not have to be the one that “saves the day”, nor do you have to be “Cinderella or the Knight in a shining armor”, because that is a fantasy land and it can only last for a short time. Because if you continue to save their day, then what happens when they do not save your day? When Cinderella keeps working until there is nothing left then what happens? The Fairy God mother shows her something else where she does not have to work so hard.
What happens when a Knight looses his armor? Inside that Armor he is just a man looking to be found but he keeps playing the Knight which he is not. According to Jody Hayes, in her book Smart Love, she explains that this attitude can become an obsession which can cause negative impact to relationships across the board. “It can wreak havoc with intimate relationships, in which the tendency is to confuse love with pity and therefore, to try to rescue those we love. When we behave this way, and after while all of our energy reserves are depleted. We have little left to give to others-much less our selves” (2001, pg.40). We can not fix anything we do not know how to fix.
In the first step of stopping the madness, I suggested to get fired or quit your job of being obsessed. I gave an example how you can not be a waitress when you can’t pick up after yourself. In the second step there must be an understanding that two people can not look at the same object the same way. There is always some difference. Just because you may have gone through a similar situation that does not mean the other person is going through it in the same dilemma or feeling the same as you had felt. If you have had financial difficulties in the past and you got two jobs to support your self, then you can not tell another person to do the same because…
A. They might not listen
B. That may think you are telling them what to do.
C. Making them feel inadequate.
Just because a person is coming to you to tell you about their problems that does not mean you have to fix it. Sometimes people just need to vent. This does not mean you have to fix it. It just means they have to get it off their chest. Unless you hear phrases like, “What do you think I should do?” or “Don’t you think..” or “ Do you know how ..? That is a person who may be asking for your opinion NOT to fix but just your opinion. You are not supposed to be their solution but someone who listens. Why do you think that going to a psychologist, social worker even a psychic is on a volunteer basis? Because they admitted they have a dilemma and they need guidance on trying to find out the root of the problem. They want direction. Also because it seems that you have already told them what to do or you did not listen. This is why I always say there is no black and white, there is no Yes or No’s it is the gray area that matters.
Between each story or a dilemma there are two sides, there is their side, and there is the other side and in between is the truth. When we befriend someone we do not expect our friends to always rescue us but we rely on them to be there for us. There is a big difference. A true friend/lover/family member may slap you hard verbally but that does not mean they do not love you. I am sure each and every one of you has had your mom scold you and the next day they told you they loved you. This just means they do not like the situation but that does not stop them from carrying for you. This is to just to say, figure it out and remember I still love you. Please do not mistake this for accepting physical or emotional abuse-it is a matter of metaphor, no one should take any kind of abuse.
Before one can be in a relationship with anyone, especially a romantic one, two people first have to be friends. This means since you can not fix you must learn to listen; if you want people to listen to you then you must acknowledge you have heard them. In the Reford Williams book, Anger Kills, he states there is “ABC of listening.
A. Is to decide that conversation is not about you or your experiences or your solutions and you can not associate the conversation is about you.
B. Before speaking your own mind, repeat to the other person what you understand that the message is. It may be redundant but you can place it in your own words so that person knows you heard them.
C. As you practice to listen and allow the other person the benefit of the doubt that you heard what they had to say. Then you embed the bonding and enjoy the world of not being the fixer” (1984, pg. 183). Listening is as important as being heard this allows more interactions of solidarity in any kind of relationship.
Often times, it is difficult to apply these tendencies because often times we don’t feel that we have been heard so we practice the “norm” which is to speak over them or become aggressive with our own behavior. However, you know being the fixer has not always worked for you because either it has killed the relationship pre-maturely or it has killed your affection. So, how do we fix our selves so that we do not continue to fix others? This is simpler than the first step and as you will notice as we continue to bring other step work it become easier.
- Instead of worrying about how the other person is feeling emotionally, mentally or spiritually, you must first work on your self so that you are able to help with complete discretion when they ask for it. This means take care of your self, get exercise, do yoga, and pray for your needs rather than wants. And learn to leave things in the higher power hands. As they say go with the flow.
- Instead of trying to help someone with their finances, take a deep look at your own see if you have any justification or stability to give them that kind of advise? Fix your self, stop spending, start saving, work hard, build a retirement fund, pay your bills on time, work a lot if needed to stabilize your own financial situation before you begin to be someone else financial advisor, you do not have a MBA if you did then you would not be listening this instead you will be living your life in financial comfort and letting things happen naturally. Opinions count but not advise.
- Instead of trying to help someone that has an addiction of some sort, try to find out what you’re bad habits are first and fix them, to be a expert you must learn to quit because you have no qualification to speak of this. Your experiences count not your advice.
- Instead of trying to find solutions of intimacy issues in the partner by helping them find medicine or to try to find the root of their problem try too look into your own. Ask your self the question what do you need to be satisfied? If you are not getting everything you need then are you reflecting this on to your lover intentionally or unintentionally?
- Instead of trying to find solutions for them do you have all the solutions in your life? Are you trying to justify your self gratification by playing God? Even if they don’t ask for it?
Always remember a person has to ask for help. You can not assume because when you do you often make a a.. of your self never the other person. You might want to consider that when a person is talking or venting, that they are venting, repeat what they said in your own observation, then you might want to re-phrase the answer “In my experience…” or “In my opinion..” or “I know you can solve this your self because you know what you need to do..”, “I don’t see a problem here because it seems you have it all figured out.. Why don’t you feel confident in your self?” or “do you really need my help?” A ounce of encouragement and acknowledgement goes a long way since we are all ego driven.
All this can not happen if you do not decide that you are NOT the center focus. But to improve our relationships there has to be a understanding, adaptation, improvising and transformation. Accept that these changes will NOT happen over night if it does it is premature and 99% of the time you will revert back to your old self. But most of all do you have the strength or the capability to improve even more by going to Step 3?
If you wish to listen to the live version of this topic, you may click on the link below. It was aired live on BlogTalk Radio on January 22, 2010 at 9pm.