Stop Trying to Fix Me

Stop trying to fix this. Stop trying to fix me. Please.

I’m in pain. I’m hurting. I’ve messed things up.

I’ve heard all your “answers” before – your well-meaning advice. And I agree with you. I acknowledge the truth. Yes, I know I’ll get through this. Yes, I know it is making me stronger, and Yes, I know God is with me.

But it still hurts.

You see, smart answers and good theology and wise practical instruction are rarely helpful in the midst of suffering.  What I need – what I really need – is for you just to listen. To be with me in my pain without trying to fix it, or go around it, or smooth it over. To have the courage  to sit with me when there is nothing to say, and say nothing.

For sure, a healthy perspective on pain and a good theology of suffering can certainly be helpful down the track. I know there are things I need to change. To do better. But right now what I really need is just some empathy and compassion.

Even if you can see clearly the path going forward, or how I got myself into this mess in the first place, trying to solve my problems is really not helping.

I don’t want your advice, I want your love.

31 Replies to “Stop Trying to Fix Me”

  1. I know this especially applies to our older children. They tend not to be open to advice from parents. Their need from us is, “just cry with me, love me, commisserate with me over my mistakes, I know what they are, and would ask for advice if I wanted it. Just show me that you don’t love me any less because I may have messed up, and hold me while I hurt”.


  2. Nicely said. Too often we don’t understand that kindness, patience, long-suffering, understanding, etc (and all the other ways love is described in I Cor. 13) can be practiced in silence and just “being there” with the person in suffering. Too often we feel the need to have all the answers and that’s when we make our mistakes.


  3. Tom, you said a mouthful there. The best intentions many times wind up being just as bad as what we’re trying to get over. That person who has the insight to sit and say nothing is rare, and valuable as a friend. Keep up the good work.


      1. It’s like the story of the elderly man who had just lost his wife and was sitting on his veranda. The five year old next door asked his mom if he could go over to visit the man. On his return his mom asked him what they had talked about as he had been there so long. The little boy replied, ” we didn’t talk about anything. I just sat on his lap and helped him cry”.


  4. What a wonderful post! Oh how many times I have felt the same way. So often we just need someone to sit beside us with their arms around us. That picture is priceless. I would hug that person if I were in the area. Feel the hug over the internet. And mostly feel God’s love during the healing. Wonderful words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing.


  5. I think this is beautiful and applies to bad days as much as suffering. It is almost as if we are not “allowed” to be sad or suffereing, or just plain in a bad mood. I believe in positivity, but sometimes I have to just be in the negative, or the pain, experience for what it is before I can move on.


  6. This post reminded me of a quote that a friend sent me 7 years ago on Friendship Day.

    A good friend will bail you out of jail, but a true friend will be sitting right next to you saying, “WE scr*wed up.”



  7. this is so me.. can’t count how many times i have asked my husband, my sister, my friend, “will you please just listen and not say anything at all???” so, now, i try to do the same thing, to my husband, my sister, my friend,, just listen and replace my “preaching” with more praying for their needs… love love your post… 🙂


  8. How true this is Tom, if only more people (and sorry to generalise, but mainly of men), they always want to fix or give advice or solutions to hurting or people with difficult problems, and I do believe that it is I inborn factor of a human to try and protect the underdog, but all they want as you say, is someone to… Listen….full stop!


  9. Well said, Tom. Being there with those who are hurting is valued by those in pain… and often undervalued by our friends. Being there for someone exposes or our vulnerability and we often try to fill that need with words for others. Really enjoyed your piece. Thank you.


  10. In my experience when I am hurting, it isn’t something I’m going to just get over but work through. If someone tries to talk about it or point out what went wrong, it feels like they’re minimizing what I’m going through even if it isn’t meant that way. Knowing what to say or whether to say anything when someone is hurting takes a lot of wisdom and prayer. Enjoyed your post!


  11. Ya. This is so true. Lost a brother and a few years later a dad as result of this first loss. I am a deep Believer and my Faith has not wavered. I still believe He means me no harm. But I needed to process my loss. But you can’t imagine the well-meaning” advise. Just be with me. That’s enough. Oh, and Pray to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.


  12. I need to heard and acknowledged.

    I don’t need to be right
    I don’t need to be wrong

    and…. I don’t need to be fixed.
    I just need to be heard and acknowledged. x


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