In a recent conversation with a colleague, we were discussing a situation he was experiencing and wanted to share with me.
What was happening, was that he was anxious that a friend might hurt himself based on his behavior. But instead of looking at his anxiety and wish to prevent problems, he was focused on the other person’s behavior.
The idea he had developed was simple if the other person would change the problem would be solved. The solution was simple too, the other person just needed to be rational. But well, they both had a different understanding of what rationale is.
In our conversation, this was reflected by the ideas I shared, him seemingly taking up the idea to then react with “the problem is” followed by some explanation.
We could have continued in an eternal loop, always coming to a new rational aspect the other person was missing.
The challenge in these situations is owning the risk to fail. My colleague was fearing that he might not have done everything accessible to him and his responsibility. His fear made it hard for him to trust the other person’s judgment. But noticing his anxiety was even more difficult. He thus continued to divert the attention from himself to some problem he could identify somewhere else.
It’s a proven method to keep the problem where it is.