Many people are suffering these days in some way. They want answers or help, or at the very least a shoulder to cry on. Unfortunately, if you’re a good listener & try to bless people, these people often come to you to meet their needs.
There is certainly nothing wrong with listening or helping people as you can. In fact, that’s a good thing. However, sometimes people take it further than that. They are so used to you helping them, that they come to expect it. In fact, they expect you to fix whatever is wrong in their lives, & get mad if you don’t.
Many years ago, my ex husband & I shut the ringer off on our phone one evening. We just wanted a quiet evening. We heard our answering machine clicking, which meant someone was leaving a message. This happened repeatedly. Eventually when we listened, the messages were from a couple we were friends with. The wife was pregnant & was having problems. They expected me to take them to the hospital & were furious that they had to find someone else to take them. In spite of the idea for shutting off the phone’s ringer being my ex’s idea, they were mad at me. I shouldn’t have done that to them.
I’ve been in many other situations where so-called friends were mad at me for not fixing whatever their problems were. Having narcissistic parents, I always felt that I was responsible for fixing people’s problems, so when I let them down somehow, I felt really guilty. God showed me that this was wrong. People need to look to Him, not other people, for their solutions. While sometimes He may use people to help others, still, the person with the problem needs to keep their focus on God to solve it. Not doing that means a person is making another person God in his or her life.
I never thought of it this way, but it made sense to me. Being the solution to someone’s problems isn’t a good thing when it happens over & over. It means they hold you responsible for things that aren’t your responsibility. This puts a tremendous burden on you that you weren’t meant to carry. It keeps the relationship unbalanced. You are meeting their needs, as they expect you to, while there is an unspoken rule that you aren’t to ask them for anything in return. It also takes their eyes off God when they should be on Him. And, they praise you instead of God for fixing their problems when He should’ve been the one to fix things & get the praise for it.
Whether you are in the position of being the one expecting another to fix your problems or you are the fixer (like so many adult children of narcissistic parents), it’s time for you to make a change.
To start with, go to God first. Ask Him if you should help this person or not. If not, maybe you can guide this person to someone who can help him or her better than you can. Or, if you’re the one wanting someone to fix your problems, stop running to that person & ask God what you should do in this situation.
You need to remind yourself that your job is NOT to fix everyone! Growing up with narcissistic parents, I know it feels that way, but it’s just one more lie they told you. (If you don’t believe me, ask God. He will tell you the truth!) They probably wanted you to believe this lie to justify them expecting so much from you. If your job is to fix everyone’s life, then it’s OK for them to use you.
If you are the one expecting someone to fix your life, then before you pick up your phone, remember, it is no one’s job but yours to fix your problems! If someone helps you, it’s a blessing, not something another person owes you.
Breaking old habits can be difficult but that doesn’t mean impossible. You can make the changes you need to make, & be much happier for doing so!