|  Blog Post   |  We don’t need to be fixed.

We don’t need to be fixed.

“Can I give a comment that is going to hurt?” was the message she sent.

I’ve known her for years through my online community, plus I had asked for feedback on my new website. With a deep breath and a little bit of bracing myself, I replied, “sure.”

And with a screenshot and an explanation, she helped open my eyes to some wording that I can’t believe we missed and that felt right to change, so we changed it. I joked she scared me at first saying it would hurt. And yet, I know that she knows what my values are so she knew it may.

Social media has somehow become an invitation for unsolicited help, suggestions, feedback, and especially criticism.

I’ve often been the person who shares their story of struggle, whether infertility or health battles, only to be met with an onslaught of unsolicited advice that I never asked for.

And too often, it doesn’t feel helpful, it only feels disconnecting.

Because to meet people with unsolicited advice, well-meaning or not, is an empathic miss. It is not sitting beside others, taking their hand with love and leadership, and saying I’m here, and making sure they feel seen by us.

We don’t need to be fixed.
We need to feel seen and loved.

When people invite us into their stories, especially their stories of struggle, and they don’t ask for help, what would it be like to simply accept their invitation and meet it with empathy?

Something like,
“This sounds so hard. I am so glad you are telling your story. I don’t know what to say. I am just glad you are sharing.”

Before we help, may we get curious and rumble a bit…

Did they ask for feedback?
Do we get paid to give them feedback?
Are we in a trusting relationship with them?
Have we owned our own emotional stuff before helping?

Because it isn’t our job to save anyone.
And because more than being fixed or saved, people simply need to feel seen and loved.

Thank you for all your amazing feedback on the new www.justinefroelker.com it was so helpful!


Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor with more than 25 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal and professional development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for ten years. Justine is the author of eleven books, including five Amazon bestsellers covering subjects such as infertility, faith, and grief. She has been honored to do two TEDx Talks, The Permission of the And and The Donut Effect. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, retreats, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing and coping with burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially in creating cultures of belonging and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs, and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch and swallowtail butterflies.

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