If you want to live in a balanced way, you have to see life in a balanced way. Easy saying it, to apply it is a bit more complicated, especially because we are specialists creating storms in a teacup. Therefore, on more than one occasion we let people who do not deserve a significant place in our lives, end up becoming a problem.
When you turn someone into your problem, you give them power
There are people who make all that they can to complicate our life. They can do it through emotional blackmail, deception or even intellectual arrogance. However, every time we let a malicious colleague, a resentful ex-partner, an uncivilized neighbor or a bad friend become our problem, we are falling into their spider web and become their victim.
We cannot control their actions, but we can control our reaction. Instead of empowering them, making these people a significant part of our lives, we can consciously decide that we will not let them damage our emotional balance with their attitudes. Remember that only what you give power to can harm you, what you consider significant enough to make resonance within you.
A relatively simple strategy to prevent malicious people from becoming a problem that takes away our inner peace is to change our perspective on what a problem really is.
Choosing wisely your problems will allow you to grow
We usually assume problems as obstacles that generate suffering or distress. We would like a life free of problems. However, the etymological root of the word problem indicates that our perception is wrong, or at least it is only a limited vision of a larger and more enriching reality.
The word problem comes from Greek πρόβλημα (próblēma) and is composed of the prefix πρό (pró), which means “ahead” and προβάλλω (bállo), which means “to throw” or “to launch”. Therefore, problems are situations that push us beyond our limits, which encourage us to leave our comfort zone to grow. From this perspective, each problem represents an opportunity to learn and develop as people. We just have to make sure we choose problems wisely.
Is it possible to choose the problems?
If we assume a reactive attitude to life and identify problems with obstacles, seeing them as something negative, we have no options, we remain stuck in the hands of chance. Then we will have the tendency to see many of the things that happen to us as problems and to turn into problems people who don’t deserve to be.
However, if instead of reacting we learn to respond and assume the problems as opportunities to grow, we can start discarding many things that with the old restrictive mentality we would have classified as problems.
Duke Ellington said that “problems are opportunities to demonstrate what we know”, and he was not wrong. Given that a problem represents a challenge, we can understand that many of the things that happen to us in everyday life and that we qualify as problems in reality are not, represent only a frustrated expectation. Knowing that difference will allow us to give each thing and person, the place they deserve in our lives, neither more nor less.
Do not waste your emotional energy with malicious people
If a person bothers, upsets or irritates you, don’t turn her into your “problem”. Do not let her occupy much of your thinking or become a recurring theme of conversation. Every time you get home and complain about that unbearable work colleague, you are giving him an importance he does not deserve and you are missing an opportunity to do other things much more pleasant.
Instead, reflect on the red buttons that person is activating in you. Why does it bother, upset or irritate you? What aspect of your personality do you need to work on to prevent his attitudes from making breach into you? In this way you will be turning the problem into something that really allows you to grow and won’t waste uselessly your emotional energy.
And last but not least, remember that all problems cease to be if there is no solution. Therefore, sometimes it’s just a matter of letting go. Do not cling to what is not important or does not allow you to grow.