We all have problems. Different problems for different people at different times, all different shapes and sizes.
From the person whose house is about to be repossessed to the woman who forgot a poop bag when her dog (who was obviously unwell) did his business in the middle of the pavement.
The women of Darfur would laugh at the problems of the women in Beverly Hills and the women of Beverly Hills would have a problem identifying Darfur on a map.
I’ve found myself on many occasion being able to find all the solutions to my friends’ problems.
Boy trouble? Dump him!
He hit you? Kill him! (We’ll deal with the “prison” problem later.)
He watches Sex and the City reruns? Marry him!
Hate your job? Quit and pursue your dream!
Want to lose weight? Do a sport you love 2-3 times a week, and cut out sugar!
Lonely? Get a pet!
Bored? Get a pet!
Ladies and gentlemen, it would appear that I have “Solver Syndrome”.
Solver Syndrome: A condition whereby one is under the impression that they can solve everyone else’s problems in a jiffy but do not have the foggiest about where to start with their own problems. Common sufferers: politicians.
I like to think that I have my “Solver Syndrome” under control and do not need any medication for it. I go as far as suggesting the solution (if asked for my opinion) and that’s about it. I can easily shut up afterwards. Some people have terrible Solver Syndrome, imposing their ‘solution’ on others and then wondering why no one calls them back (or votes for them).
Politicians be like, ‘hey, I know. All these problems my country’s having? I can solve them! Yes, I’m cocky like that. I’m gonna run in the next election. Sure, my marriage is a farce. Yeah, my kids can’t stand the sight of me BUT I know how to fix an entire country’. Forbes says that the number 1 problem political leaders have is problem solving itself.
I would never run for office, mainly because responsibility scares the Bejeezus out of me and of course I don’t assume I can fix a whole country’s problems. When it comes to my own problems, I’m like WTF, but why does it seem so easy to solve other people’s problems?
Yes, there is an answer to that question. It appears that what we “Solvers” lack, is emotion. Not emotion in general, but the emotional ties that tie our friends to their problem.
We are not tied to that particular problem in any way so it’s very black and white for us, but for the person with the problem, it’s more colourful than Joseph’s techni-coloured dream coat if it were tie-dyed, dipped in glitter and sprinkled with Hundreds and Thousands.
Maybe the answer is to literally (not literally) put ourselves in our friends’ shoes before blurting out the “solution”. Politicians, take note. What if it were us with that particular problem?
GoodTherapy says that the solution is not trying to solve other people’s problems at all. “Letting others solve their problems gives you a chance to work on your listening and empathizing skills. You don’t have to be attached to outcomes of others’ situations, since you didn’t provide any hopes, promises, or directions. And think about how gratifying it is to help bring out others’ strengths just by allowing them the opportunity to identify and draw on them.”
Wouldn’t it be great if we all realised that life is too damn short to have problems? Although, would these following problems still be acceptable (asking for a friend)?
• Do I watch American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson every week or wait till it ends and watch it all in one go?
• Mars Ice Cream or Mars Bar (or both, f**k it)?
• Bright Red or Hot Pink nail polish for the summer?
• BBQ chicken pizza or a pepperoni stuffed crust special?
• Make the bed or just close the bedroom door?
• Is it OK to eat popcorn whilst watching a movie if you already ate a whole pizza during the opening credits?
• Are dried fruits still healthy if they are dipped in Nutella?
• Is it such a bad idea to adopt another animal (or three)?
• Will I be labelled tacky if I put red wine in the fridge?
• Is it OK to get bangs because I can’t be bothered to pluck my eyebrows?
• If Ryan Gosling and a young Paul Newman showed up at my door but I could only go out with one, who should I choose, dammit?
Fellow Solvers, work your magic.