I had a chat with a precious young lady the other day.
She was having all sorts of problems, and seemed to be getting into a new argument with someone new every five minutes.
So I met her for coffee, and took a pen and notepad with me. I drew an image similar to the one below, with her as the central character.
Now, I’m not a professional counselor, and if you need to, you really should see one.
Seeing a counselor doesn’t mean that you’re nuts by the way. Sometimes it just helps to have a look from another perspective.
Anyway, this is how I deal with problems when they build up. I learned it from a family doctor years ago.
I’d said to him that I was feeling depressed, and he laughed, saying it’s no wonder.
You see, I’d dislocated my elbow, and shattered the head of the radius (bone) playing football.
And I had a good case of glandular fever at the time, as well as being off work.
Things weren’t going too well there either, as I was self employed, and had commitments to meet!
Just to top it all off, my girlfriend at the time was making noises about wanting to break up!
So you can see that I know what it is like to have problems!
Anyway, what I learned that day was that it was alright to feel down, but that there were ways to make it a little easier.
We started by breaking down the problems one by one. And labeling them on a sheet of paper.
We then assigned them a priority.
Just like our friend has below. (I’ve nick named him Harry for the purposes of this exercise.)
Please excuse the poor artwork. I don’t pretend to be the best artist, I just try and get my point across!
Now, Harry has put all of his problems in boxes, working out an order of priority is next!
If I was Harry, I’d send my wife/partner a bunch of flowers, saying that I loved her, and that we’d talk tonight.
And then maybe walk in with a box of chocolates and/or a bottle of wine when I arrived home!
The next thing that I’d do is have a snack and a cup of coffee, maybe go for a walk around the block!
Problems always seem worse when you’re not at your best physically.
Next, I’d tackle the client again.
If Harry keeps upsetting clients, his sales figures are going to keep going down, and he’ll have hassles on a new front, with his boss!
Then I’d organize to get the car towed or fixed if it’s stuck somewhere other than at home.
Anyway, you get the picture!
Some people have a lot more problems, or even more complex problems.
They may be battling with grief, relationship breakups and so on.
It helps to remember that everyone has them, and their reaction to you might be due to their problems.
Now, if you see someone like Harry in the first picture, with a great cloud hanging over them, give them a smile, or buy them a coffee.
Simple encouragement can help make someone feel a lot better!
So whether you’re walking along with a big cloud, or a string of boxes swinging around your head today, remember that everyone has hassles!
It’s part of life, and it doesn’t mean that everyone is against you.
It just means that you’re human!