Do you want to have less stress and be happier?
Tackle the problems you have with other people.
Sometimes we try to solve the problems by avoiding them. But you will soon find out that problems are connected to people. When you ignore people or go into hiding, people tend to get mad.
To ease your mind and worry less, talk to people. Start with a list of issues you might have and decide to do something about it. Avoiding problems can lead to lasting depression.
Talk about what happened, what’s the situation. Explain the situation. What could be the potential resolution to the problem, and what are you going to do next?
The steps to solve a problem
The steps to work out most of the problems you might have.
- List your shortcomings
- Talk about what happened
- Ask what you can do to fix the situation
- Confirm that the problem is solved
The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place. ~ George Bernard Shaw
Talk to people!
You can solve almost any situation if you stay in contact and keep communicating.
- Answer the calls you don’t want to take,
- reply to emails you don’t want to reply to, and
- have that talk you have been putting off for some time now.
Talk to people, solve the problem, and you are free. If you ignore people, they may eventually stop bothering you, but you will always be uncomfortable around them or even when they are mentioned.
Apologize for whatever happened
If there’s a problem, then the other side thinks you have done something wrong. You may not share that opinion. But these are their feelings. You can’t change the situation by telling them they are wrong.
They may think you messed up in some way, then the apology is appropriate. They may even feel that they did something wrong but are afraid to admit it. In both cases, your sincere apology opens the communication channels to go forward.
In some cases, you know you messed up or did something completely unacceptable. Own up and take full responsibility. If you keep blaming someone or something else, then the other side doesn’t take you seriously.
List your shortcomings
The next step would be to list how you could have handled the situation better. Whatever happened, if there’s a misunderstanding, then you might have avoided it with better communication. If you can’t think of anything else, then just say that you were not clear in your explanations, and you will try to fix that.
When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said. ~ Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Talk about what happened
The most common way for relationships to deteriorate and become problems is trying to find out who’s fault it is.
Do not do that!
Always talk about what happened and how you may improve the situation. Take the people out of it and focus on how to fix things.
Your explanation is the justification for your actions. When you have a problem, then usually the other site does not think your explanations are valid. The explanations also show that your partner’s explanations are wrong.
Ask what the other side sees as a solution
You know what you want to do. And sometimes you don’t know how to fix something. Always ask the other side what they see as a solution to the issue at hand. Use open questions:
- What can I do to solve this?
- What do you think is the right solution?
- Do you need something I’ve missed?
Usually, how and what questions are the best. If you keep asking them, then your partner will lay out the solution to your problem. If they propose something that you can’t agree to, then keep asking what else you can do to fix the situation.
Go through these steps when you have problems with people that seem hard to solve and inconvenient. But you don’t have to fix everything.
Confirm that you have solved the problem
When it seems that you have arrived at the solution, you have to confirm that. The other side may let it go because they don’t want to spend any more time on the problem. They may think it’s too much work to arrive at a reasonable solution. Always try to find out if the solution you have reached is really something that the other person wants.
A: “Huston, we have a problem!”
A: “Never mind.”
B: “What’s the problem?”
B: “Please tell us!”
A: “I’m fine.”
When everything works out, and you are sure that you solved the problem, then you can write a thank-you letter.
The best-case scenario is that you solved the problem. However, you can’t solve larger problems with a single interaction.
If you want peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. ~ Desmond Tutu
Face to face
If at all possible solve your problems face to face.
It’s tempting to send the text or email, but in that non-verbal form you lose most of your message.
When we communicate then 55% of the message is in the form of posture and how we move and act. Another 38% of the message is the result of your tone and how you say things.
For example, just the other day, my client had a problem with a competitor that I could solve. I sent him a friendly email about the options. I got back an angry message, asking why do I even get paid if I don’t do anything for him.
It was clear that he had completely misunderstood what I had meant in my email.
I called the guy and solved the situation in less than 30 seconds.
In text format you will lose most of your message!
If you can talk with the other person face to face then do that. If not opt for a phone call or a Skype call.
Sometimes you have to let it go
In some cases, you can decide to let it go.
If the other person is really toxic or you think there’s no common ground you can reach, then walk away. However, make sure that walking away is not your default mode.
When you talk to people about the problem, you will get a resolution and a clear path to how to fix things. Maybe you are still in debt or must do something for the other person, but you will get it out of your subconscious, and you have less thing to worry about.
Talking to people will help you get a grip on reality. Anchoring yourself, in reality, will improve your life right now. Making yourself to deal with your problems will improve your willpower, and it’ll be easier next time.
Cover image credit by Daniel Foster