Have you ever found yourself in the following situation? You’re living your life carefree, seemingly without a problem in the world. You know you’re a good person who just wants everyone around them to be happy. You have friends, family, a great job. And then suddenly you’re hit with the truth stick: someone close to you flips your reality upside down.
You inadvertently offended someone. No, your best friend doesn’t think he’s good enough for you. Your boss promoted the new coworker because her ideas were better than yours.
Surprise! Your bank account has been overdrawn just after you received a text from your significant other that they want to take a break.
It’s like a tornado of stress came swirling down your path out of nowhere. Now you’re thinking, Wait-WTF? What happened here? Why is all of this happening to me? It was only yesterday that life was sailing smoothly. In the blink of an eye everything took a turn for the worse. You might not be on the receiving end of so much negativity all at once, although that does seem to be the way life goes for some people. It’s true that sometimes situations arise out of our control. Then there are the times when you need to sit back and evaluate what’s going on in your life. It’s called taking accountability for the things you can fix when they go wrong. Accepting the reality that you’re not perfect can be a hard pill to swallow.
However no one should expect perfection from others because that’s unrealistic. We all have flaws, but when those flaws get out of hand we need to be reeled back in with a reality check.
So grab a piece of humble pie and some coconut milk to wash it down with as we unpack five reasons why you just might be your own problem.
PROBLEM 1: YOU HAVE NO FILTER
Have you ever engaged in discussion when the other person reacts negatively to that hilariously funny ethnic joke of yours? You’re shocked when they admit they don’t think you’re being funny and your poor attempt at a joke has now offended them.
Or how about this one? You’re at a family function talking about the latest political issue and you know your opinion is the right one, but the air grows awkward when you realize your thoughts just pissed everyone off.
Reality check: you’re unfiltered! In this difficult age of political correctness, you can’t just spout what’s on top of your head. Not everyone is going to share your opinion and even though it was never your intention, your unfiltered words can inadvertently offend people. If you often find yourself in a situation where no one ever wants to associate with you, then realize the problem can’t be with everyone else. No one likes that person and you don’t want to be that guy or gal.
*SOLUTION*: THINK BEFORE YOU TALK
“Rick Grimes” said it best on The Walking Dead: “Don’t talk; think.”
Those are words to live by! Look, you can’t worry about every single notion that comes out of your mouth, but you should go with your gut. If you’re uncertain whether you should engage in that heavy discussion at the company picnic, then you should refrain.
Is your best friend asking you for dating advice? Honesty is the best policy when provided gently. The best way to avoid uncomfortable discussions about anything really is to never let a negative comment fall from your lips. Always focus on the positive side of any situation, or look for the best qualities a person has. When you filter your thoughts, others will appreciate you and place their trust in you.
PROBLEM 2: YOU DON’T TAKE ADVICE
You were told to do something one way, but you did it your way and now everything’s a mess. Your best gal pal warned you not to give that shady dude a chance and now you find out he’s been cheating on you for weeks. Your doctor advised you to go to bed earlier so you will have more energy, yet you were out until 3AM last night when you had to be at work by seven this morning. Yeah, you know you called in sick.
Others’ wisdom doesn’t seem to connect with you.
*SOLUTION*: LISTEN TO OTHERS
Everyone likes to think they’ve got it all figured out. But you can’t go through life without heeding others’ advice. Taking others’ advice when warranted is how we grow into the people we are today. You can learn things from people of all ages so don’t dismiss your younger cousin’s tips on how to navigate today’s technology.
Consider your sources. If you know your best friend is reliable and has a good track record in their own lives then you should take their concern for the girl you’ve been dating into consideration.
PROBLEM 3: YOU’RE CLOSE-MINDED
You call a water cooler meeting with your two closest coworkers when you find out the new girl was promoted over you. How could the company do this to you? You’ve been a loyal employee for ten years when they choose ideas from the woman who’s only been here for two?! You always offer the best input during meetings, yet your ideas are never taken into consideration. The fact that your coworkers don’t agree that you’re the better person for the job gets your blood boiling even more. Maybe you weren’t the right person for the job after all.
*SOLUTION*: OPEN YOUR MIND TO POSSIBILITIES
Sometimes our egos can grow bigger than we ever realized. If you’ve ever found yourself in the above situation perhaps it would be wise to reevaluate your skills.
Maybe there are ways to advance your skills in the hopes of landing the next promotion. It is possible that you’re not all that and a bag of chips (ah, 90s nostalgia!).
Did that promotion you really wanted go to someone else? Did your competitor land the gig? Instead of growing bitter, accept the reality, wish that other person well, and focus on what you can do to be successful the next time around.
PROBLEM 4: YOU’RE IRRESPONSIBLE
The dishes have been piled up in the sink for a week. Your boss wanted that memo on his desk by 5 last Friday. You forgot to cancel that subscription and now you’re still being charged. That bill was due only yesterday; it can wait another day.
This is the life of a procrastinator-and it’s so stressful! We always think that tomorrow’s another day. But tomorrow comes-fast. The more you leave things till the last minute the quicker they are all going to catch up with you at once. It’s like being in a medieval torture chamber: piling heavy stones of frustration onto your chest until you’re no longer able to breathe!
*SOLUTION*: GET IT TOGETHER
For some this is easier said than done. Planning ahead can be a truly daunting task for certain individuals but it’s necessary. Take a day or two, maybe even a full weekend to get your responsibilities organized. Utilizing paper backup to your Apple calendar is always a good idea. Set reminders for every bill that’s due this way you will never be charged with late fees. Wash those dishes right after you use them so you won’t have to face an annoying chore later. Got too many app subscriptions? There’s an app for that! Download a subscription tracking app that will keep you posted on which ones you want to cancel. Save yourself some money!
Set reminders for when tasks are due, even if you have to remind yourself more than once! Getting yourself organized will quickly lift those medieval stress stones off your chest so you’ll feel lighter than air!
PROBLEM 5: YOU’RE INSECURE
You love hanging with your friends but they always look better than you do. You know your girlfriend loves you but why is she talking to that guy across the bar?
You “accidentally” opened your boyfriend’s phone only to find several other female contacts so he must be cheating on you! You just walked into the store and two sales associates start laughing immediately; omg-they’re making fun of you!
All of this paranoid thinking stems from high-level insecurity.
*SOLUTION*: FIND YOURSELF
Did you know that being so insecure is actually a form of egotism? Yeah, it’s true!
Individuals with this much insecurity tend to be obliviously self-absorbed and they can only focus on what they perceive is wrong with them. Here’s a refreshing dose of truth for you: you’re a great person but you have to learn that for yourself! You have to find out who you are. Be kind to you by telling yourself what a cool, calm, and collected person you are. Okay you’re not perfect but who is?
Give yourself a chance to realize that many others experience similar insecurities.
Once you realize it’s normal to have those feelings, you’ll see yourself in a brand new light. Confidence is key to living a happy life. When you find that confidence in yourself, you’ll see that you look just as amazing as your friends, that guy your girl is talking to isn’t a threat (he’s her cousin), and your man’s contacts are all business associates. Take a break from “crazy thought town” and discover the confident you!
P.S.–Those women in the store weren’t laughing at you; they were engaged in their own conversation!
By: Dana Nuzzo