If You Wait Long Enough

I have known a number of people who favor the approach of ignoring a problem, assuming it will work itself out. The thing is, it appears to work.

After trying repeatedly to get you to help with a situation, people will either:

a)       Accept that things are the way they are and stop trying to fix the problem,

b)      Find a way to work around the problem, or

c)       Give up.

Once the other person stops complaining or asking for help, you can continue to believe that everything is fine and that everyone is happy.

But, is everything fine?

Despite the appearance of calm, problems don’t go away when they are ignored. They get pushed aside and continue to irritate people and undermine trust and confidence, and eventually they come back up.

Only, the next time, they are bigger, more serious and the other person is angrier and harder to work with. When you ignore it again, it will eventually appear to go away again, but little signs start to pop up – complaints, separation, undermining, gossip, etc.

You start to view the other person defensively and to look for signs that it’s really their problem, and your relationship begins to break down. This cycle continues until someone intervenes, or the relationship ends.

But, what if you didn’t ignore the problem? What if you sat down with the person involved, discussed the situation and tried to work out a reasonable solution?

Uncomfortable, but ultimately, people want to be listened to. They want to know that you are concerned about them, and they want to feel like they have some control over what happens to them.

Listening, acting, and communicating about issues creates a bond of trust that helps people commit to a relationship. It also creates a more positive, relaxed environment when you are together, which we all like. But it can be uncomfortable, especially the first few times you do it. However, over time, it will become normal.

Learn how to address problems in a timely manner and they will go away - and they won’t keep popping back up.