If you make too big a deal out of something, you don’t go near it.
It may be awful to discuss your lack of promotion with the boss, confront the cheating partner, or tell the roommate you are moving out, but you can be haunted in doing nothing.
The issue is then left unaddressed and we can feel guilty in knowing we haven’t done anything about it. Anxiety or feeling down too easily creeps up and, combined with the guilt, we are now tormented for avoiding the problem. Life then becomes about finding distractions, escaping, or being worried too much of the time.
This is because we too often we see a problem as something that is not going to be answered. Or if it is, it will be against you; that you are going to fail and when you fail it proves you can’t do things.
And all the worrying about it, doesn’t mean you are going to approach it any better.
You have to ask yourself, how bad can it be? In going through it, you find it usually works out.
When you start to worry, try to realize its a problem, but its only a problem and not the end of the world. Work on developing a better context of life, and the situation, and think the issue can be worked through. Discuss strategies with a friend or therapist, rehearse in front of the mirror or partner, and try to take a risk in saying something.
And it doesn’t have to be perfect.
We need to work on how we relate to the problem, to view it differently.
In hindsight, how much can we now chuckle over the breakup or job change that at the time kept us up for weeks?
What’s important, is learning to make better choices and to work through things. In doing so, we usually find out it isn’t that bad.
Tom Kearns, LMSW