There are conflicts everywhere. The problem of problems is somehow always present. For example, I can have a good life, but maybe my peers don’t. And if they do, I can always turn to the newspaper for a listing of all the problems of the city… or the world. It makes me rethink of what a problem is. It’s easy to slander out a word without putting in any effort to really understand what it means. Our brain, has the ability to skip over information we already understand, but it makes sense to revisit certain fundamental concepts every now and then. In this case, I’m tempted to think that a problem is an internal disagreement between our idea of a thing, and what the world is providing us with. If there’s a mismatch, then our brain flags that as problem which translates to pain.
Simplest way of seeing it is the use of a car. If the car runs well I don’t have to think too hard about how it functions, I’m just glad I can get to where I planned to go. The moment it breaks down I am thrown into a different state of mind. Not only do I not know how do fix it, but I am in an alien situation. At this point, the mental image of my afternoon is changing radically as I get sent to a world where I feel incapacitated. It is no surprise that the word conflict is defined as the clash of two things. That is, how I want things to be, and how they are. I would say that the bigger the disparity and engagement on our part, the more painful the problem is. Especially if it’s out first time. Some research was showing how we react a lot to an impulse the first time it happens, but eventually we come to expect it and it doesn’t have such a profound impact anymore. Our brain is basically done deciphering the first anomaly and sets itself in cruise control. Remember what I said earlier about skipping over things we understand already. It is useful since there is a lot going on at any given moment, but it can also put us in a bind if our original assumptions were wrong.
While I was thinking about problems I was trying to think of it’s relationship with problem-aversion. Why is it that we have people out there who are trying to be good because they are afraid of upsetting the status quo of their direct environment? As far as I am concerned, raising up problems is not a bad thing. Not at all! You know, if someone is making a mistake, we should confront them on that before they do it. For the sake of saving them some trouble and so that we might continue smoothly… afterwards. The price we pay today, is bland compared to what awaits us when we avoid a problem. That’s what’s so interesting with putting your foot down. There’s potential for a lot of resistance, but it is followed by a form of bonding or tranquility. Now raising problems isn’t about throwing bombs whenever you get a chance. Raising a problem in someones attitude because it’s counter-productive; that’s more like it. If they are willing to help us, it most likely is a sign that they care for us. There are exceptions, but nothing stops us from listening to advice and deciding that it is not for us. We will also know, with time, who is giving us solid advice versus damaging advice.
Let me expand on that. Let’s say you have a friend who keeps telling you the bitter truth. If you are smart(if he’s right) then you will straighten out your way of doing it and avoid potentially more harmful pain(for both parties). So far it looks like standing up for ourselves is worth a dime. The part that makes us want to avoid trouble is a silly masquerade. Which can be very persistent and troublesome. We don’t want to lose our relationships. We also care for our image, our reputation. The question needs to be asked though. Do you want your friends to acknowledge your mask, or who you really are? Having our friends relate to the mask, creates a level of indirection between who we really are and them. We will also attract individuals with characters resembling our mask, because that is what we use to use. It’s viscous because it helps us foster our bad habits. Do you know what happens to the guy or the girl who keeps doing favors for everyone, who puts others first, when deep down they would like to invest in themselves? He or she develops resentment and bitterness. If you think doing things for yourself makes you selfish, well hey, at least you become real… raw selfish person, that already closer to who you acted to be. The quality of your help will come from a real place and it will come from the “you” that has his needs met. And that my friends… is priceless.