You Don’t Need to be Fixed

Last week I talked about the 7 Dysfunctional Dwarfs: Sulky, Moan-y, Shout-y, Crabby, Martyr-y, Touchy and Petulant. (btw, these are from Michal Bungay Stanier’s awesome book, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever.)

If you missed last week’s blog post where I shared 5 ways to deal with them, you can read it here.

Here’s the problem, though

We assume that Martyr and Crabby and Touchy and Sulky are wrong. We should all get along together. We should be kind. We should be considerate.  Because they aren’t, we don’t like working with them. We judge them as being wrong because they don’t conform to our notion of how they should be.

The thing is, people are people.  They just are.

When we judge, we deny the humanness of the other person. When we judge ourself, we deny our own heart.  We should all over ourselves!

I’m going to let you in on a little secret: judging is a waste of brain space. It’s just a way to one-up/one-down one ego against another ego. It’s a winner-take-all game that has no winners.

Judging other people adds no value to the world; in fact, it only makes things worse.

What if we don’t have to judge?

There’s a basic concept in coaching called NCRW. It stands for Naturally Creative, Resourceful and Whole, and it applies to everyone.   You, your co-workers, even your brother-in-law sleeping on the sofa: everyone, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE is Naturally Creative Resourceful and Whole.

When you’re NCRW, you’re not broken and you don’t have to be fixed.

Wait, What?

Let’s break that down:

  • Naturally: That means you’re born that way and it’s part of you. No exceptions.
  • Creative: This means you use your brain to put things together in a different way. We have co-opted the term “creative” to mean someone that makes art or music, but it is so much more than that.

Creativity is all over your life. You are creative with a limited number of ingredients to put together dinner.  You are creative when you find new ways to save money. You are creative when you write a report or display data in a different way. You are creative choosing what outfit to wear. There are a million ways you are creative every day.

  • Resourceful: You can find what you need. Think about it. If you want something to happen, or if you want to obtain something, you find a way. If you don’t know something you need to know, you find a way to learn.

When I worked with public assistant recipients it amazed me how they knew every spot in town to buy things at a discount, who had the best bargains on clothes and which landlord would cut you some slack on your due dates.  They tapped in to their natural resourcefulness every day, and so do you.

Being Naturally Creative and Naturally Resourceful make sense, don’t they? You can see your creative moments and you know how resourceful you can be when you need. But the last one…

  • Whole: You’re not broken, and neither is anyone else. Your weirdness and your moods are part of your wholeness. Your likes and dislikes are part of your wholeness. Your physical appearance and abilites are part of your wholeness.  You’re not broken; you’re naturally whole.

This is the hardest to understand, but when you get it, you will see how nobody needs to be fixed.

Think of Oscar the Grouch. He lives in his garbage can and snaps at everyone. Any attempt to cheer him up is met with a garbage-can-lid slam. For Oscar, grouchy = happy, right? Being a grouch is who he is. You can’t fix him (i.e. make him conform to your idea of happy) because he’s not broken; he’s grouchy. He is whole.

I have a friend in a wheelchair. She is bright and funny and has a broad range of interests. She just can’t climb stairs, she can’t drive, and she lives in a modified apartment. If you thought for one moment that her life is not complete, you would be mistaken. She is not broken, she’s not a “poor thing;” she just lives differently from you or me. There is no need to fix anything. She is whole.

Your feelings are part of your wholeness. Your opinions are part of your wholeness. Your life’s path is part of your wholeness. You don’t need to be fixed. And neither does anyone else.

So my challenge to you is to spend a day consciously treating yourself and everyone around you as NCRW. Instead of correcting, get curious. Instead of judging, accept that their way is not your way. Instead of chastising yourself for making a mistake, congratulate yourself for learning something new. See what happens!

I would love to hear your thoughts on this! Please comment below and let’s start a conversation!


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