When it comes to solving personal issues that arise in my life, I’m quite systematic. I identify the issue, consider my choices, make a decision, and move forward. To me, my method of working through life’s surprises is effective, and helps me to move on to the next activity with relatively low drag on my emotional state. But this doesn’t always work for everyone. It’s not a panacea for all problems for all people. I wish it was, but to my dismay, it just doesn’t work that way.
For example, in my family, there are four of us who solve problems using totally different approaches: logical, emotional, withdrawal, and avoidance. You’ve probably guessed from reading the first paragraph that I fall into the ‘logical’ realm. And you’re right. The problem I run into is helping the other three types of problem solvers in my life because they make everything so damn difficult (in my opinion).
My narcissistic side whispers in the back of my mind, “If they would just make a choice and stick with it, we could move past this,” because my way of addressing a problem is, of course, the optimal way (I’m being sarcastic here). I know it doesn’t work that way, and it’s taken years for me to come to this realization. Still, my egotistical self firmly believes my way is the only way.
Taking a step back from this mindset, I’ve learned that in order to help my family, I have to help them work through their problems, and assist them in their own personal methods of resolution. Let’s face it, just because something works for you, doesn’t mean it works for another. Nothing is a cure all for each individual person. The fact that I finally get that has enabled me to be useful to those I love, instead of becoming an additional obstacle in the way. I think it boils down to having respect for individuality, and maintaining a level of compassion that allows one to see past the end of their own nose. One size does not fit all, especially when it comes to solving personal problems.