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Thanks For Sharing!

Some people seem to have continuous drama in their lives. They also seem to attract people who want to rescue them from their problems. Or, they actively look for someone to play the part of savior by appearing helpless.

If you are the rescuing type, you probably find some joy and satisfaction in this role. But, I would bet you are also exhausted. I know this because the people you are trying to save keep getting back into trouble.

There is a near certainty that the person who mishandles their money and nearly gets evicted will be in the same predicament within six months of you lending them money to pay the rent. This is not the usually responsible friend who experiences an unexpected layoff or medical emergency. This is the person who has had cars repossessed, borrowed without paying you back, and replaces friends on a continual basis because they stop helping out.

The problem with being a "fixer" is things do not stay "fixed".

In order to become healthier there comes a time when you must detach with love. This does not necessarily mean you have to stop speaking to the person or completely cut them off. The real growth comes when you no longer allow the drama to affect how you behave.

In circumstances when you would normally run to the rescue you must learn to allow the natural progression to take place. Instead of trying to stop the eviction, or offering your home when it happens, you take a step back and watch. Either the person will become more responsible, you hope, or they will find another person to save them from their mess. In any case, you have taken care of yourself and allowed this person to take care of themselves. It is not your fault they are struggling and it is not your responsibility to end that struggle. By trying to shield someone from natural consequences, you stunt their growth and actually weaken their ability to handle life.

It is definitely easier said than done to change rescuing behavior. However, it can be done. First, you must recognize when you're doing it. Then, you must sit with uncomfortable feelings when you don't rush in to fix the problem. People may become angry when you refuse to do what you've always done. You may find those who tend to need your services the most will disappear. This may be hard to handle because it will illuminate who are real friends and who are users. However, in order to truly be of help to others you must be healthy yourself. And, the healthier you are, the healthier your relationships will become.

So, the next time someone comes to you with a self-induced crisis, respond with "Thanks for sharing."

If this post describes you, we need to talk.

Call me at 678-626-7013 to schedule an appointment today.

Robin R. Daniels, LPC

I am a licensed professional counselor in Atlanta, Georgia.


Relationships and the way we interact with each other are fascinating.  It is a great joy watching people learn to love and accept themselves.  This leads to healthier and more satisfying relationships.

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