Problem solving has kind of a negative connotation, whether it be at home, work, sports club or any other activity that is part of your life. I don’t really view problem solving as negative, because I like things that are actually a challenge.
Don’t Take On The Problems Of Others
Define Your Boundaries
If you’re a natural helper (or are putting your New Year’s resolution in practice to help more) then what you first need to define is your boundaries. You cannot help everyone with everything. It’s not possible, and I seriously doubt you’re qualified to. You will only burn out and be unable to help others if you don’t have boundaries.
Allocate Your Time
This kind of goes hand in hand with defining your boundaries, but it’s worth its own subheading, because it’s that important. If something will sap all of your time, you’re not going to be efficient and could resent the person you’re helping. Set the amount of time you can help them for, but most importantly, communicate this to them. If they don’t know you’ve only got a limited amount of time, then they will have a different expectation of what you can achieve together.
You Can’t Do Everything For Someone
That ‘teach a man to fish’ saying? Yeah. It’s relevant here. Some people just want to have someone else do everything for them. They don’t want to learn, to avoid it again. They just want you there to pick up the pieces, to whinge to and for it to happen all again next week. My boundaries in this area are very defined. I will help people if they genuinely need help, but only if they want to learn as well. If not, I tend to not help at all, and will go so far as cutting these people out of my life. I find people who don’t want to learn to be very draining to be around, and not a good use or focus of my energy.
Here’s the thing. I feel like more and more people I see around and about in life are drained by taking on the problems of others. Now, if you’re a parent and you’re looking after your kids, it’s probably fairly unavoidable, because, you know, they’re kids. This post isn’t telling you to go out and become entirely selfish and self absorbed. It’s reminding you to take care of yourself as well.
Lately it has just seemed to me that too many people are focusing on others to the detriment of their own lives. You have to be healthy and happy too. And that can start with setting some simple boundaries.
#2015TheYearOfMe is about putting yourself first. You can read the post that started it here. Use the hashtag across social media to share how you’re making 2015 a year of YOU!
Do you take on the problems of others? Can you set boundaries to ensure that you also take care of yourself?