If you want to live in a balanced way, you need to see life in a balanced way. Saying it is easy, putting it into practice is more complicated, especially since we are specialists in making a storm in a teacup. Therefore, on more than one occasion, we let people who do not deserve a meaningful place in our life become a problem for us.
When you turn someone into your problem, you empower them
There are people who do everything to complicate our life. They can do this through emotional blackmail, deception or intellectual arrogance. However, whenever we let a malevolent co-worker, resentful ex partner, uncivilized neighbor or bad friend become our problem, we fall into their web and become their victim.
We cannot control their actions, but we can control our reaction. Instead of empowering them by making these people a significant part of our life, we can consciously decide that we won't let them damage our emotional balance with their attitudes. Remember that only what you empower can harm you, what you consider significant enough to resonate within you.
A relatively simple strategy to keep malicious people from turning into a problem that takes away our inner peace is to change our perspective on what really is a problem.
Choosing your problems wisely will allow you to grow
We usually take problems as just obstacles that generate suffering or distress. We would like a problem-free life. But the etymological root of the word "problem" indicates that our perception is wrong, or at least it is only a limited vision of a wider and more enriching reality.
The word problem comes from the Greek πρόβλημα (próblēma) and is composed of the prefix πρό (pró), which means “forward” and προβάλλω (bállo), which means “to throw” or “to throw”. Therefore, problems are situations that push us beyond our limits, which encourage us to leave our comfort zone to grow. From this perspective, each problem represents an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. We just need to make sure we choose our problems wisely.
Is it possible to choose the problems?
If we take a reactive attitude towards life and identify problems with obstacles, considering them something negative, we have no options, we remain stuck in the hands of chance. Then we will have a tendency to see many of the things that happen to us as problems and turn people who don't deserve to be problems into problems.
But if instead of reacting we learn to respond and take problems as opportunities for growth, we can begin to get rid of many things that with the old restrictive mindset we would have classified as problems.
Duke Ellington said that "problems are opportunities to prove what you know," and he was not wrong. Given that a problem represents a challenge, we can understand that many of the things that happen to us in everyday life that we consider to be problems are actually not, they are just a frustrated expectation. Taking note of this difference will allow us to give each thing and person the place it deserves in our life, no more, no less.
Don't waste your emotional energy on malicious people
If a person bothers you, upsets or irritates you, don't turn them into your "problem". Don't let it occupy your thoughts or be a recurring topic of conversation. Every time you come home and complain about that insufferable workmate, you are giving it an importance it doesn't deserve and you miss the opportunity to do other, much more enjoyable things.
Rather, reflect on the red buttons the person is activating in you. Why does it bother you? Which side of your personality do you have to work on to prevent their attitudes from breaking through you? This way you will turn the problem into something that really allows you to grow and you will not waste your emotional energy unnecessarily.
Last, but not least, remember that all problems cease to be if they have no solution. Therefore, sometimes it is just a matter of letting go. Don't cling to what isn't important or doesn't allow you to grow.