People Are Not Problems, Focus on Fixing the Problem Instead

I want to take a minute to talk about this tweet.

the other day my grandma told me "when you and him are fighting, you both need to remember that it's you two vs. the problem, not you vs. him" and that hit me hard.

Ignore, for a moment, the heteronormative and monogamist viewpoint here. If you need to see it reworded:

You have to have trust in your relationships. You have to be able to communicate about where you’re at in your relationships. If you don’t have those things, then you need to get help – perhaps professional help – to get those foundational things under control.

And then, once you’re communicating, once you’re trusting, you have to remember that when problems and disagreements crop up – BECAUSE THEY WILL – it’s you all against the problem, not each other.

When you screw up – and you will – and end up attacking the others you love instead of the problem, STOP. Apologize – even if the others did something to provoke you – and remember that you’re both working on solving the same problem. Maybe that will require a “time out” for your body to calm down and the fight/flight response to wane. Maybe it will require a period where you deliberately change how (and when) you interact in order to reset bad patterns that have been established. Maybe it’ll need something I haven’t written here – you’re the person in that relationship, after all.

But what it will require is focusing and attacking the problem, not each other.

Featured Photo by Duy Pham on Unsplash