What to Do When You Feel the Need to “Fix” Everything For Everyone

The Anxiety and Overwhelm Downside of Being the Fixer

From your RAFT Counseling Team

There are many types of people in this world. One type that’s gained a popular title over the past decade is a “fixer.” Shows and movies like ScandalRay Donovan, and Michael Clayton have paved the way to the term for those who like to help and want to fix everything for everyone.

A fixer is defined as someone who is skillful and successful at solving problems. They have the mentality that anything that they believe is hurt, lacking, or defective needs fixed.

While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to help people and fix things, there are some situations where that’s not always possible. 

One of the keys to all the advice below is that it’s critical to remember that you can’t fix and control everything. It’s also important to understand why some feel the need to be a fixer.


Signs of a Fixer or a Fixer Mentality

  • Trying to remedy or fix others or situations even if they are not broken
  • Overeager to solve problems
  • Do someone a favor or step in to help when not asked

Real-Life Scenario:

The need to play matchmaker or set up those in your life who are single. We’ve all heard it before “I know someone who would be perfect for you/them.” While those wanting to set up a date between two single people in their lives are well-intentioned, it’s rarely requested.

Reasons Why Some People Need to Be Fixers

They’ve always been a caregiver.

This commonly happens with children and parents. When children are younger, they naturally depend on their parents. Once the children grow up and hit adulthood, many parents still want to give their input or fix things for children. While it’s well-intentioned, it can be seen as meddling or overstepping.

They’re highly empathetic. 

If you’re naturally more empathetic or an empath, you understand what someone close to you is going through, and you want to help. It’s almost impossible to stand by and do nothing because you can feel or know what someone is going through.

They feel responsible for others’ happiness.

This goes along with the first two—but if someone in your life is having some sort of problems in their own life, we feel the need to make them happy. For example: if a friend is having troubles in their personal life, we feel the need to give advice or step in and make it better.

They have a “know-it-all” mentality.

If someone is being treated poorly, it’s easy to say you wouldn’t tolerate or stand for that, which often leads to saying what you’d do instead. For some, they truly do know better, for other they think they’re smarter. Instead of being supportive, those with the know-it-all mentality offer solutions versus being an active listener.

Now it’s time to discuss what to do when you find yourself wanting—or for some needing—to fix everything and everyone around them. This definitely can feel like it’s easier said than done, but it is doable.

Ask Yourself These Questions

This is key to resolving the need to fix everything for everyone. Once you ask these questions, if you’re saying no, then it’s best to leave it be and not get involved.

  • Is this problem something that’s negatively affecting me? 
  • Do I have any influence on the situation? Was this something I was asked to help with?
  • Is this something I can actually fix or change?
  • Is the situation under my control?
  • Would my input be helpful, or would it be enabling?
  • Why do I want to solve the problem? Is it for selfish/self-fulfilling reasons?
  • Is this causing me anxiety? Am I overwhelmed by something I cannot control?

It’s important to note that if you’ve been trying to change people or if you’ve been in the “fixer” role for a long time, it will take time and effort to change this habit. A therapist can help you overcome it.

To learn more about anxiety therapy, don’t hesitate to reach out. We would love to connect with you at RAFT Counseling and have availability soon with our kind and compassionate therapists.We have online sessions available as well as in office appointments in our office in Parker, Colorado. Providing guidance and hope, our team would love to meet you.

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