It's hard to watch someone in pain. But the pain belongs to that person, it is there for a reason, it is part of their journey and lesson. You can let them know they are not alone, you can acknowledge their feelings, you can assist them in finding their own coping techniques, but never try to "fix" their pain or their situation. It's disempowering. We build self confidence based on what we have accomplished for ourselves, not on what others have accomplished for us. We need to listen to our inner voice to find our way through. When another person steps in and tries to speak louder than our inner voice, several things happen:
1) We begin to question our inner voice's competency to help us face this situation, if this person is stepping in and telling us to do something differently then what we feel is best, we begin to think that maybe we don't really know how to help ourselves.
2)In our uncertainty we hand over our problems to this person who seems to have all the answers to our pain.
3)The person who was trying to fix it becomes overwhelmed and resentful. Why can't this person figure this out without me?
4)The relationship (family, friend, romantic,medical care provider, support provider) breaks down, leaving the person in pain feeling more alone and very distrustful. Which leads to the person being...
5)Still in pain, less self confident and now looking for another fixer or fix it outside of themselves.
Immeadiately the person in pain sees the fixer's need to get involved and puts up boundaries.
I am a fixer, or at least I was ...I'm working so hard on trying to recognize my "fix it" actions as they happen and take a step back. I find my main reasons to fix things are these:
I am triggered by what the person is going through, it brings up my own pain and I think that if I can help them through their's maybe my pain will decrease as well.
I think that fixing their emotional turmoil will make them treat me better. That if I can stop their hurt, they will stop hurting me. A defense mechanism.
I don't fool myself into thinking that I am coming from a place of wisdom, when really I am coming from a place of my own discomfort and or fear. I have seen too much to think I am doing anyone any good as I try to tell them how to fix their problems or end their pain. The truth is, I can't see all of their motives, fears and memories and even if I could, it's not mine and it would be like stealing for me to take away the confidence of working through something major on your own.