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YOU don’t need to fix it

We all know the expression “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if it is broke (or broken as we say in England) are you allowed to fix it then?

Our partners have flaws, weaknesses and do things wrong and it drives us crazy. “If only you would listen to me / do what I say / follow my advice.” We have all the answers to their problems, even the ones they didn’t know they had.

You know how they can; solve the problems they are having at work, get better grades at school, get their parents to stop bothering them, earn more money, take control of their anger or be a better husband / wife.

We think we know exactly what they should be doing, or how they should be living their lives. So, we go straight in with plenty of free and unsolicited advice.

The trouble with being a fix-it man or woman is that we don’t give our partners the time and space to take care of their own issues. Even worse, we give them the message that we don’t think that they are capable to do it by themselves. That is a blow to anyone’s self esteem.

It’s hard to keep quiet when you know that you can help, and it’s frustrating to see them suffer through a problem that you can help them solve. But bite your tongue and hold back, then ask if they want your advice or suggestions. This way you will give your partner their space and they will feel that you are trying to help them and not just get them to do what you want them to do.

Remember nagging is trying to get someone to do what YOU want them to do. Encouraging is getting someone to do what THEY want to do.

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