Do these 5 things to solve any problem

Have a problem with someone? I can help you solve it.

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No matter who we meet or where we meet them, people have various different perspectives in life. They value different things, they’re religion or culture is different than our own, or they’ve been through life experiences we couldn’t imagine.

The result of that is diversity. The beauty of diversity is that it keeps our relationships and connections fresh, innovative, and wise. Having a society that is well-rounded fosters a perfect environment for great things to happen.

Unfortunately, great things don’t always happen as a result of respectful differences. People come from different walks of life and when faced with a conflict with someone that doesn’t share our views, it can cause a huge problem.

It’s only natural for people to not get along with everybody. We’ve all had haters, bullies, manipulators or users. But when we are forced to address those very people, it can often times lead to angry, cruel, vindictive, and sometimes self-damaging, behavior.

If we took the time to develop healthy problem-solving skills from a place of understanding and integrity instead of dysfunction and immaturity, we could dissolve any beef.

joker no beef

Of course, it would be remiss of me to say before going down this list of steps, know that addressing an issue is rarely cute, fun, or pretty. Sometimes you don’t want to wait until both parties are cool, calm and collected because they may fall back into their routine, brush the issue under the rug, and bury their emotions (yet play it off as if they’re over it)

Sometimes problems are best addressed in the heat of the moment because that’s when emotions are high and the truth comes out. Have you ever noticed that you seem to listen to the other person a little bit more when they’ve raised their voice, started to cry, or gave you that “I’m dead serious” death stare? Yea, now you’re have perked up a bit.

DISCLAIMER: Do not subject yourself to physical, emotional, or verbal abuse. If you feel the situation is already too heated, remove yourself from the situation and wait to revisit the issue after both parties have calmed down. 

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1.  Ask why
The first step to ANY problem is asking why. This seems obvious however this can often times be a huge misstep.

For example, my husband and I’s love language is very different. Complete opposites in fact. And we constantly have discussions on how the other person is measuring up to their love language. Instead of just dismissing his love language and saying “Just forget it. I don’t understand,” I had to ask him why.

I had to ask him why he feels this language is important. “How can you help me understand your language?” Which leads me to my next step.

2.  Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
This is by far the hardest part for me personally to do. Because my personality is very logical and “black & white,” it is extremely difficult for me to see the “grey” area in a situation. But this is absolutely necessary in order to make a mend with someone you’re having a disagreement with.

If you know them personally, think about their life and all they’ve been through. Think about how they could have come to this conclusion. Do they possibly have anger issues because they grew up in foster care and had no responsible adult to protect them, so they had to learn to protect themselves? If that were me, uhh.. yea- I’d be a little angry too.

Most problems are not that difficult to solve. The difficult part is walking into unfamiliar territory, fear of being hurt, or just plain anger.

3.  Let’s keep it 100… tell the truth
We are not only doing a disservice to others when we don’t tell the truth, but we are also doing a disservice to ourselves. When we lie, especially about how we feel, we are burying the true issue further and further down.

Talking about small details in an argument is trivial. Yes, she may have ordered something she knows you don’t like. Yes he may have forgotten to take the trash out.

But if we keep it ALLLL the way 100- the truth is, you’re hurt that she doesn’t pay attention to you. You’re frustrated because he never follows through on his promises.

Let’s be real. Arguments usually aren’t over him leaving dirty draws everywhere or her not making dinner every night. There’s a deeper and larger issue underneath that if covered up by meaningless tasks, can turn into deep resentment, mistrust, and frustration. Which also leads me to my next point….

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4.  Open up and be vulnerable
Once you’ve already built up a wall and begin resenting the other person, it is MUCH harder to open and be vulnerable to hearing them out. Sometimes when we get to a certain point of hurt, its much easier to close our heart out to everyone (even to people that haven’t even done anything to you).

As someone who is working on opening up, I know firsthand just how hard this actually is. I work on it everyday in fact. Some days I’m comfortable sharing my frustration about my body image, and other days I act as though I’m the most confident and fearless woman walking the earth.

For some disagreements, I find it easier to shut down and “deal with it on my own.” But I have learned that I wasn’t in fact dealing with it on my own. I was burying it. Instead of shouting “I’m overwhelmed,” or “I’m scared,” I would say forget it and assume they weren’t willing to listen.

5.  Ask why, again
Last but not least, ask why, AGAIN. Once you’ve gone through the four steps above, there’s a good chance that the person you are talking to will have a different answer. After see you open up, trying to be empathetic, and actively listening, the other person should hopefully be able to reveal what the REAL issue is between the two of you.

You may discover that the first reason given (usually very vague like “I just don’t like you” or very specific like “You’ve never liked me”) is now more refined. At that point, you can truly know what the issue is and find a simple solution. Use common sense. If she is starting to feel left out- intentionally invite her out more. If he is feeling lonely- intentionally spend more time with him. If she doesn’t trust you- give her complete transparency as to what you’re doing.

Most problems are not that difficult to solve. The difficult part is walking into unfamiliar territory, fear of being hurt, or just plain anger.

Solving the problem is easy. Working the problem is where most of us fall short.

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