You know those moments when you feel like something’s wrong between you and someone you care about and you have no idea what to do about it?
Maybe you can think of a situation like that right now…
This could be an issue you have your partner, one of your friends or a co-worker you spend most of your day with. Who this person is doesn’t matter. The point is: The situation means enough to you to occupy your thoughts.
You know that until it is resolved, it will have a significant impact on your mood. You may have an awesome day with a lot of enjoyable moments. But whenever it gets a little boring, or when you go to bed at night, your mind drifts right back to the issue and you start worrying about it.
This may go on for days or even weeks.
You explain the problem to all your friends. Maybe you ask your parents. But none of their advice seems to help.
After this keeps dragging on for a while, it feels like you’re stuck. So you ask yourself: “Who else can I turn to that can fix this for me?”
Maybe you even ask a therapist. Maybe you talk to that one guy your friend knows who always gives amazing life advice. Or you email your favorite blogger. And when you hear something that sounds smart, you try to apply it. This could mean changing your behavior in a way that you believe will cause them to behave more positively. Treating the person you’re having issues with differently so that they would know something’s up. Or carefully dropping some hints. But somehow they never get it. And that frustrates you even more.
If you sometimes run into situations like that. Don’t worry. I am here to present you…
The #1 Magical Life Hack That Fixes Interpersonal Problems Quicker Than Anything Else
So what it is this life hack, you say?
It’s a simple two-step formula that goes like this:
Step 1: You are about to ask someone for advice on this very specific situation between you and the other person. You know exactly how you are going to explain your feelings / predicament and what you’re going to ask. Great. Now stop and don’t do it (yet).
Step 2: Go to the person you are actually experiencing this problem with. Ask them exactly what you were going to ask the person from step 1. do it in a very calm un-accusing manner, focusing on your own feelings and experience, without blaming anyone.
That’s it. Before step 2 you may start having all kinds of thoughts like:
• “It’s no use, I already know how they are going to react.”
• “It’s always the same with him.”
• ”She’ll never understand”
That’s fear speaking. You have no way of predicting the future. Even though it seems plausible. Think about this though:
When you are having issues with someone, there is only one person on the entire planet who has the power to do something about it. And that’s that person.
(Side note: This is especially true in relationships, as your partner is the person who knows you and the dynamic between you too better than anyone. If that’s not the case, maybe that’s the real problem ? )
No one else that exists has the power to do something about it. No amount of gossiping or complaining to other people is going to fix it. No amount of psycho-analyzing the shit out of the situation will fix it. No person, book or article telling you that you are “right” and the other person is at fault will help you. Those things will all probably make it worse.
There is only one thing that will do the trick:
Explain your issue to the person involved. And explain it to the best of your ability without pointing any fingers. Ask them for insight in their perspective and don’t take any of it it personally. If you two are not able to work it out, let it go.
I know this can sound like obvious advice. But don’t dismiss it because of that. The bible is also full of obvious advice, how many people practice it though? Christian fundamentalists don’t even do it ?
It’s funny, because when people do use this technique, they use it as some kind of last resort after everything else has failed. While in fact, when you do this before you try anything else, it usually works best ?
So the next time some situation between you and someone else is weighing you down, before you run to your friends, ask your self:
Am I putting this so-called “common sense” into practice right now?
Have I asked the only person that can actually fix this? ?