Relationships and the Model
Connecting to the math page, oddly enough, this is also a powerful model when considering relationship issues.
We are going to look at-- only Step 2.
The 'reasonable solution'
How that can send an alarm about a problem.
That can determine a strategy
How it is a GREAT use of our energy.
Remember, people think problems are solved in
In math, when the problems are presented to you, I offer an alternative
Step 1 Consider what the problem could be.
Step 2 Predict a reasonable solution. (even going to far as to write the prediction in that bottom right quadrant.)
Step 3 Gather the facts that are relevant to that problem.
Step 4 Try some strategies and continue to work until the answer makes sense.
Step 5 Compare your solution to the one you predicted. Reflect. If the solution is different, what did you learn along the way?
Again, let’s talk about Step 2. That reasonable solution piece. I call it Step 2, but in life, often, it’s actually Step 1.
Alter Step 2, I mean . . Step 1.
Why Step 1? In relationships, with ourselves or others, sometimes before we even know there is a problem, we notice that something isn’t the way we want it to be.
We may notice we are unhappy, frustrated or hurt long before we know there is a ‘problem’. The feelings are often the 'alarm'. We need to reflect on where we would rather be. Probably, happy, productive, content. Then we can begin to explore what the problem is. After we determine one of the factors leading to the negative feelings, then we will revisit the ‘reasonable solution’.
If we determine that the problem involves another person, whether friend, loved one or even coworker. We can not just go willy-nilly about to solve it. We should revisit what a ‘reasonable outcome’ could look like. This allows us to consider our safety, our options and determines the approach we will take as we gather facts and employ strategies.
So often, people jump to ‘fixing the relationship’ especially for younger people, who are often in friend groups based on circumstance instead of shared enjoyable activities or choice.
People need to be given permission to decide that they would like to take a break from a person or end a relationship altogether. Some 'friendships' are unhealthy or toxic.
With some friends, you are not on the path to your best self. Sometimes moving away from those relationships leads to healthier or more productive outcomes. If one determines that the relationship needs to end, then the strategies used to solve the 'problem' are radically different than if we are repairing a friendship.
Productive use of time and energy
Another RADICAL reason to focus on the desired outcome is that more people can agree on what a desired outcome looks like.
On a micro (self) and macro (others) level, so many arguments are time wasted on a determining what the problem is, what is causing the problem or even what approach is best.
Who is 'right'? Who is causing the problem? What approach do we take? My way is better! My problem is worse! My problem isn't what you think it is.
To prove that 'problem' is a common focus, there is even a phrase "Glorify the problem"
My goodness, people! You get back what you give time and energy too! Do you want to give energy to problems? Arguing?
Spend your energy, research and time considering the outcome. Outcomes take a lot of time to consider. The implication of any desired outcome has consequences. Studying outcomes allows opportunity for a wider variety of approaches. Approaches that vary from context to context and across cultures. It offers freedom for different philosophies to explore approaches that honor the values of different people.
This is such a more energetic way to spend our time and build community with one another.