The urge to soothe the hurts, right the mistakes, and fix what’s broken is irresistible when someone you love needs help. The compulsion isn’t necessarily female or male, it just takes a different shape with individual people. It’s the Savior Complex, the belief that you can somehow make it all better when someone who’s broken or damaged or toxic comes into your life. You go in so hopeful, but the odds are not in your favor when it comes to your success or your happily-ever-after.
The toxicity wears on you after a while. How could it not? Even if your partner doesn’t mean to be toxic or isn’t outwardly damaging, her or his attitudes and issues can still wear on you over time. Not every broken person is toxic, and there are many reasons you may be driven to fix someone. It can absolutely be a fruitful, fulfilling endeavor. When you’re trying to save someone who’s emotionally stunted or damaged, however, the negativity comes in thick.
You can’t change someone who doesn’t want to change. It’s as simple and uncomplicated as that. Until someone wants to change, they won’t. Your partner won’t change for you. S/he may talk a great game about it, but those changes won’t come to fruition – no matter how much you help, nag, rescue or fix.
What happens if s/he doesn’t think there’s anything wrong? This is always a possibility. What if you’re trying to save someone from something s/he doesn’t even see as a problem? You’re pouring time and effort into a person who doesn’t give a damn about it.
You’re a superwoman, but you’re not a superhero. Some people are worth saving. Some people want to be taken care of. Some people need it. Other people have too many issues for one person to deal with and you need to remember that. You’re a goddess. You’re amazing. You’re so strong and you can carry so much on your shoulders, but you don’t need to carry everything.
Your time is better spent on yourself. You’re a much better vessel for your time and energy. Work on yourself instead of working on someone who’s not responsive. It’s so much more fulfilling to improve yourself than it is to force change on someone who doesn’t want it.
It’s not your job to save everyone. What if you’re playing savior to this person for the rest of your life? Is love really that strong? Will no one else ever need a sliver of your effort and attention? You deserve a relationship in which you have an equal partner, not someone you have to carry through life. Yes, you can help the people you love, but you shouldn’t be doing all the work for them.
Some people don’t want to be saved, anyway. Even if they realize there’s something wrong with them, they don’t care. They like themselves just the way they are – and, hey, that’s great … for them. Not so much for you, though. The only person who can change or save someone is themselves.
You may simply turn into an enabler. This starts a vicious cycle of co-dependency that takes hold fast and deep. You don’t want to turn down this road. Saving someone who doesn’t want to be saved is the fork in the path you never want to take. Go the other way. There’s nothing you want down this way.
A parasitic relationship is the inevitable result. Your partner will suck on all your resources, all your energy, and all your love and passion. It won’t stop until you don’t have anything left to give.
You’ll never get back as much as you put into the relationship. You’ll give and give and give, but what will you really get in return? You’re ultimately the only one who can decide if a person in your life is worth fixing, wants to be saved, and wants to be saved by you, specifically. Don’t waste your time, your compassion, or your love on people who won’t ever be able to give you even a fraction as much in return.
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