My history of extreme problem solving has mostly been in relationships, but crossed over into my jobs, as well. Basically, extreme problem solving comes from an inability to communicate openly with others. You don’t express how you feel and don’t give others the opportunity to express their true feelings either. Consequently, extreme outbursts or seemingly impulsive behaviors arise because of the lack of communication.
This can be damaging because you become unpredictable. If you thought it was hard reading people, try being on the other side of the relationship and think about how others calculate the best ways to handle or relate to you. Pia Mellody writes, “The other person may believer himself or herself to be falsely accused, misunderstood, or attacked for no apparent reason, and feel anger and pain about it. And your frequent threats to end the relationship leave the person fearful and unsure of your commitment.” (pg. 205, Breaking Free.)
Communicating my feelings in relationships has been a continuing theme in my life (until this past year). I used to drive myself crazy creating unspoken expectations and resenting my significant other for things he either had no control over or behavior that I found neglectful. In some instances, my significant others were neglectful or unhealthy, but I didn’t handle those situations well. My habit was breaking up with them out of nowhere and walking away while they were recovering from the hit. So many guys I’ve dated were left confused as to what went wrong and why.
My extreme problem solving when I am uncomfortable or hurt, is to leave. I did this with jobs, as well. If I got into an emotional rut that I felt trapped in, I sabotaged my work and found a way to exit the situation.
The result I’ve found for this type of behavior is a consequence of distrust and one wrong move after another. By not expressing how I feel or asking others how they feel, I end up running to escape the problem. Usually when running, one falls into the arms of another future mistake. It’s an art form.
This affects others because for some, they don’t know if they can trust me and for others, they don’t know the confusion and pain they’re about to experience (which will lead to future distrust). Put it all together and you will find a product of distance. Intimacy cannot be where insecurity, doubt, and distrust reside.
God has been teaching me that it’s okay to pause in life. If you’re unhappy with where you are, take some time to process, pray, and surrender it to God. Let Him direct your path. Ask Him for peace and clarity in the midst of your discontent.
If you are unsure of how someone feels about you, ask them. Talk. It’s way better than assuming and creating an opinion that has never been spoken. There’s no need for extreme problem solving when you have God. He has everything you need and He loves you. You can trust Him with where you are, your future, and your potential conflicts with others. God will grant you compassion and patience while you reach for understanding with those around you.