August 21, 2012

What's the Problem?

So I was sitting there on Saturday night watching the movie "Friends with Money" (Jennifer Aniston, Joan Kusak) and the last line of the moive (and this is not a spoiler alert) was "Ya, I have problems too." Of course, being in my line of work, that got me thinking...what is a problem? When someone says they have problems, what are they? We have heard of weight problems, money problems, alcohol and drug problems, but really....if we were to unwrap a problem, what would it look like inside? I've been thinking about this ever since (I either need more of a social life or a vacation).

I believe, for every problem, there is a solution. I also believe that a problem is something that we are yet ready to solve. Perhaps the solution is too painful for us so we simmer in the problem. Maybe the solution requires some hardship or sacrifice so we continue to think and talk about our problem(s). To me, if someone has a weight "problem" it suggests that things were tried without success. Perhaps there is frustration or anger or confusion around it.  Sometimes the best way to solve a problem is bringing someone else into it for a solution. Unfortunately, one of the biggest reasons why I don't pull someone else in or ask my manfriend (for example) for his opinion is I may not like the answer. I remember asking him what he thought of this fabulous suit I bought for a speaking gig.....he said the jacket made me look wide (and he was right...very fashion forward of him, but I wasn't ready for the answer at the time).

Many times, we like the feel of stewing in our problems. Perhaps complaining about them gives us just enough attention and finding a solution would take that attention away. I have a low back "problem". It's starting to get in the way of everything. Do I go to the chiropractor like I should? No. Do I stretch every day like I should? Hell, no. Do I exercise every single day because I know it will make it move better? Absolutely not! But I sure do grunt and grown and move like I'm 80 years old. Should I shut up about it and find my solution?  Um....ya.

Point made? I truly believe our problems serve us well at times and would dissipate if we were ready to find or work towards a solution. So we aren't ready? So what? The trick there, (for all you family and friends suffering through the complaints and/or grunts and groans) is you must wait until the person is ready for a solution. If they're not, you can talk, scream, and yell until you are deprived of oxygen...they won't change...but they will start avoiding you (which may not be such a bad thing).


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