What I learnt this week: Help me not help you…

If there’s a problem I’ll tell you how to fix it. Anything. Just tell me. There’s a way. There’s a plan. It can be done.  No matter the situation- I’ll fix it for you.

Except maybe you don’t want me to. Maybe you just want me to listen. Maybe you just want me to be there with you- sit in that moment.

Instead I start telling you what to do.

Sometimes it can be helpful, if that’s what you need to hear. Maybe you do want advice. Maybe that’s why you’ve called me. But maybe that’s not what you really need at all. Maybe you need empathy.  But what is empathy really?  This week I learnt what it isn’t.

I’m doing a course with Brene Brown through her Courage Works site. It’s incredible.  And very confronting.  I realised the way I ‘help’ people may not always be helpful. I’m a fixer by nature. I always have been. If I see a problem, I plan immediately how to fix it. And I do this for everyone (including myself).

Sometimes I just need to shut up and sit with someone and say sh*t that sounds tough. Maybe I can relate to them if I’ve been in a situation where I’ve felt what they’re feeling- shame, anger etc.  But I don’t need to try and fix the situation. Because I can’t-sometimes there’s not always an answer.  And forcing my ideas on someone may add to the stress the person is going through.

Apart from learning to hold my tongue (which is actually difficult both literally and metaphorically speaking), I mixed up the week with loads of work, writing and social outings…

It was Australia Day on Tuesday- headed to Hannah’s for a BBQ in the amazing Aussie sun. Drank yummy cocktails, ate succulent steak and salads and chatted to Han’s friends. I finally met Sylvie, who I’d heard so much about. You know those people you meet and you feel like you’ve known them forever; she’s one of those awesome sorts.

After smashing out double shifts at work, when Friday night came around it was time to relax. Headed to ‘Summalee Thai’ for Roz’s birthday celebration. Talked and laughed over spicy food and champers, which was lovely.  I wandered home that night, taking in the cool breeze and felt happy to be outside.

Happy just to wander.

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