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How to Let People Handle Their Problems

It caught my attention as it sat on the dining room table. I looked at my mom who walked in. “Mama, what’s that?” I asked, gazing at it. Her response?

“It’s a puzzle.”

She opened the box and dumped the pieces onto the table. She nodded for me to sit in front this pile of a problem. I sat down, checked it and said to her..

“I can’t do that!”

She smiled, looked at me and said, “you can do it.”

She gave one or two tips and left me alone. While I sat at the table putting the pieces together, my mom sat down and watched T.V. Soon she was in the kitchen cooking. Next, she called a few friends on the phone.

Figuring out this puzzle would have gone faster, if she had helped me. Why? My mom was excellent at finishing puzzles. However, she was able to do what she wanted, because let me solve my own puzzle.

Why We Solve Other People’s Problems

I’m no Counselor or Psychologist, but I’ll say this. Muscular stress is sometimes the result of trying to solve too many problems at once. If you trace back your “stress origins”, here’s what you may find…

You’ve become an expert at solving other people’s problems.

As a result, it can be hard to stop doing this. Over time you stress yourself out in ways you didn’t think you would. And here’s the hardest part; you still haven’t solved YOUR problems!

People tend to solve other people’s problems too much, because of guilt and shame or an unusual sense of responsibility for others issues. But I have great news today. There’s a way to get off the “I’ll solve it for you merry-go-round” and get some peace.

Practice the Art of Detachment

Over the years, I’ve learned a stress relief technique, I love. It sets me free from being everyone’s “Top Problem-Solver.” The Art of Detachment works in a few, simple steps.

Step #1: Make a “Responsibility List”

Tired of rescuing a loved one or friend from a relationship? Write down the problem like, “Susan’s Marriage.” Create two columns, titled; “My Responsibilities” and “Their Responsibilities.” Draw a line down the middle of these titles.

List out the responsibilities you have in their marriage under “My Responsibilities” and “Their Responsibilities.” Now look at the list. Notice something, here? The majority of the responsibilities, you’re handling are NOT YOURS.

Step #2: Give Responsibility Away

The next time Susan texts, calls or wants to meet for another “counseling session”, ask for her help. Kindly share you have plenty of your problems to solve and you can’t help her.

When you give back what’s not yours, you empower people to grow, heal and change. This let’s you do the same.

Step #3: Work On Yourself

As you move away from solving problems that aren’t yours, guess what? It’s time to work on yourself. You will notice a gazillion things left unresolved, because you were too busy saving “other worlds”, but yours. Now you get to right your world. Working on yourself relieves stress.

Step #4: Know When to Say “No”

Choose when and who you will help, carefully. Know when to say “No” outside of those boundaries. Be polite, professional and kind, but firm. Otherwise, you will find yourself entangled in “webs” you don’t want to be caught in.

Enjoy our next blog post, “How to Navigate Traffic Without Flipping Out or Flipping Off.”