Fixaholics: The Impulse to Save Others

perfectionist, people pleaser, compassion, control

There is a modern day affliction that is affecting many compassionate people. They are called fixaholics, people pleasers and savers. On a bad day, they can also be called martyrs, push-overs and weak-willed. Here are some examples:

1. Fix-a-holic Mom

(May also be known as Control Freak, Perfectionist or A-Type.)

Mom wants to make sure everyone is OK all the time. She senses tummy aches, has an eye for bad moods and somehow knows when a light bulb is about to go out. When something is wrong or someone feels bad she is the first there to offer a shoulder to cry on and offer solutions.

2. People Pleaser Teen

(May also be known as Over-Achiever, Toastie or Ambitious.)

Teen basks in the praise of parents and teachers. They strive for good grades and proudly announce high test results at dinner. They apply to prestigious competitions and load their schedules with impressive activities.

3. Teacher Saver

Teacher has an eye for students who have that extra potential but are being held back by an undiagnosed learning disability, abusive parent, bullying or an unstable home environment. Year after year teacher identifies and works with students who need saving. Teacher comes in after hours, stays up late at night and makes extra calls home to help this student in need.

All three of these types mean well, they want the best for those around them, however sometimes it can backfire or hurt those around them.

When It Goes Sour:

  • Martyrdom
Sometimes when people pleasers or fixaholics help and help and do not feel gratitude or equality in their relationships they end up feeling abused, taken advantage of andĀ sometimesĀ even that they sacrificed themselves too much.
  • Push-Over
Sometimes the types above can be seen as push-overs, weak willed or without a backbone. Students or kids take advantage of their generosity or do not appreciate how much the person has sacrificed.
  • Escape Route
Most of the time savers identify those who truly do need help, however, sometimes fixaholics do so much for others, that the other people in their life lose the ability to do it themselves. One teen I worked with told me he doesn’t even know how to set his alarm clock because after a while his mom just began setting it for him and then coming in every morning to wake him up.


I wrote this article because I think people pleasers and fixaholics are often unthanked and give up a lot of themselves for others. This can be wonderfully compassionate, but sometimes it can sacrifice a person’s true self and enable those around them to take advantage. If you are a people pleaser or know a fixaholic ask these questions:

-Who am I trying to please and why?

-Do I fix to stay in control?

-Do I ever feel like a martyr for the help I give?

-Do I wish people I help would be more grateful?

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