Problems; The Power of Pressing Pause
“Don’t share your problems with anyone who cannot be part of the answer” was one of the best pieces of advice I received over 10 years ago. It has been sound advice and I have been thankful for it often. Since then I have heard many a time of a problem shared becoming a problem multiplied in the lives of others, purely because they told the wrong people. When we share our problems with others, we cannot control the outcome of two things:
1. How they will take it
2. What they will do with it
Taking the first point above; no matter how well we know the person we are going to tell, we can never know how they will react to the particular piece of news we are going to face them with!
When we tell the wrong people about our issues we are then subject to dealing with both the problem and with how they react to what we just told them about!
Their reaction can potentially be worse than the issue in question! Have you ever had others react in a way you didn’t think they would? You were then left upset they couldn’t be more understanding or helpful and ended up wishing you’d said nothing at all?
We all handle things differently but I have found that coming to terms with the issue personally and getting some ‘space’ on it first can be of great benefit. Processing problems by ourselves first can give us time to separate out our feelings and emotions from the situation we are facing. This in turn can help give us strength to manage other’s reactions which in difficult times is a gift in itself!
There are times when we are particularly emotionally involved and our problem is so all-consuming we feel we need immediate help; when dealing with tough issues we may feel we just have to tell someone. Yet even if those we are going to confide in eventually are very close friends or family, it is best to be deliberate about what we tell them and when. It is worth remembering that if we are close to the issue emotionally and then others react emotionally…we are left with one big emotional mess!
It follows naturally to say that we are well-served if we can learn which people in our lives are best for which issue. Your greatest gift to yourself in difficult times could be in finding the strength to press pause & process. I hope this helps someone today. X