How to Deal with a Difficult Situation: “The Other Person is Never the Problem” from Zen Habits


Without giving you too much detail, I had a really difficult situation to deal with in the last term, and I felt more stress than I had experienced in my entire life. Eventually, I was able to resolve it with the help of several persons. While going through the situation, I was blaming someone else at the beginning but I eventually started blaming myself. In retrospect, both sides had issues, and that condition must have made the difficult situation more difficult.

When I read “The Other Person Is Never the Problem” on Zen Habits, a blog by Leo Babauta, I thought that I could have dealt with the situation without feeling too stressful. Here are some lines that intrigued me in the blog post:

They’re not the problem.

The other person is never the problem.

[. . . .] The problem is our reaction. The external event (someone is rude to you) will always happen, every day, often multiple times a day. We cannot stop others from being rude — but we can change how we react.

Unless we are omnipotent, we cannot change the world easily. The easiest part that we can change in any situation is our attitude. By changing our attitude, we may able to see the situation more clearly, and resolve it much more quickly and smoothly.

So next time I face any difficult situation, I will calm myself down and take one step back to have a better look at the situation. By so doing, I should be able to deal with it better than I did this time!


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