I have realized that there are only two types of people in this world.
- Solution people
- Problem people
Which one are you? Here is how you can find out.
Let’s say you find yourself in an undesirable situation. What do you do? How do you think and react? The answer to that question will determine if you are a problem person or a solution person in that situation.
Problem people are those who either create problems for others or do not act to change an undesirable situation where they are victims of the problems created by others.
On the other hand solution people are those who create and maintain situations that work in their as well as others’ best interest. If they are in an undesirable situation, they keep looking for solutions to make it better rather than just complaining about it.
Now let’s look at both these types more closely.
1. Solution Person:
These are the rarest breed of people. You will know them when you see them.
No matter what their circumstances are, they are always looking to make it better. If they like the situation they are in, they keep making the best out of it. If they are unhappy with their situation, instead of feeling sorry for themselves or complaining about it, they start thinking how to get out of it. They take action rather than over-analyzing. They accept nobody has control over what happened but anybody can impact their future through the actions taken today.
How to be a solution person?
- Instead of asking whether I can do it, always ask, “How can I do it?”
- Remember that if you cannot accept a situation you have to change it. If you cannot change it you must accept it. (Thank you serenity prayer!)
- Do not regret the choices you have made. Only think twice before you make any new ones.
As I was describing these characteristics, if you thought about somebody, that’s a solution person. They do leave their mark on you. Learn from them, and you will, too.
2. Problem Person:
If you find yourself complaining about something or someone time and again, there is a high chance you are a problem person.
There are two types of problem people. One is more subtle than the other. But both take some conscious attitude and behavior choices to rectify.
- Those who create a problem in a situation.
- Those who think they are the victims in a situation but do not act to change anything about it.
2a. Type 1: You are the problem!
When you feel that something is not going as per your expectations or people around you are not treating you with love and respect you desire, take a pause. Ask yourself: “Is there a chance that I am attracting such behavior from my family / friends / colleagues?”
If you cannot instantly answer, “No”, chances are high that you are indeed the cause or at least part of the cause of the issue. Knowingly or unknowingly you are creating problems not just for others but also for yourself.
Examples of such a type are quite common – a boss who is a bully, unprofessional colleagues, jealous friends. These are toxic people who do not help but hurt. Nobody desires to be in a company of such people. In many cases, they don’t even care to face the truth that they are an undesirable person, and go on with their ways.
It may seem that they are getting what they want and moving forward but it is just a matter of time before they realize that they have no well-wishers or close friends. They become lonely. Unfortunately, by the time they realize that, it is too late to undo the mistakes.
You do NOT want to be that person!
How do you move away from being such a problem person?
It is always easier to prevent such behavior from becoming a habit than to correct it after it happens. Just be honest to yourself and see if you ever hurt or irritate others by your behavior, attitudes, or words. What can you do to avoid “being a jerk”? Will asking others for feedback on improvement help?
I have observed that the best way to get out of such situations is to introspect and / or ask for honest feedback from others, accept your flaws, apologize for your mistakes, and try not to make those again. Most people around you will also forget and move on. If they don’t, well then they become the problem – not you.
Remember, control is to be gained, not forced and respect is to be commanded, not demanded. As long as you act in not just your but also others’ best interest, you will attract affection, respect, and leadership you deserve.
2b. Type 2: You are the victim but you are not doing anything about it!
This is the type of problem people I see the most. It almost hurts me to declare them as a “problem person” because I truly believe that they are actually the victims. But they leave me no choice.
If you are not happy with whatever it is you have or do not have, why in the world are you not doing squat about it? No, no, no… don’t even start giving me excuses. You either change your circumstances or you stop complaining about it. Because you know what, people around you do not have the luxury to devote their hours and days on pacifying you. It does not help you; neither does it help them to be emotionally exhausted just by thinking about everything that is going wrong. Not to mention you complaining or acting helpless is not going to change anything.
How do you move away from being such a problem person?
Start acting NOW! No matter what your trouble is, take a small step right now – not tomorrow, not today but right now! Even the smallest action helps you forget about your problems. It refreshes you by changing your routine. As my mother says, “Busy body stays busy, lazy body stays lazy”. Even a small action in the right direction will get you out of the inertia, and before you know you will gain the momentum to march forward.
Believe it or not, you will start attracting more favorable outcomes and people.
I have a friend who quit her job and moved to a different country. From a full time working woman she became a full time mother with no job prospects in near future. The transition took a toll on her. For the longest time she did nothing but to blame her situation and regret her choices.
Then one day she realized that it is not her surroundings or her past choices that were flawed. Bygones are bygones. She cannot change what happened but she can certainly choose how to react to it. She started taking small steps at a time to make the most out of her circumstances.
She had time to work on her health. She started exercising regularly and cooking healthy food. She devoted time to learn a new language and make friends from other cultures. She joined Toastmasters to practice her communication and leadership skills. She built her social media presence and started networking with other professionals. Rather than worrying about what’s not there she started enjoying what she already has – simple moments with her child and husband. That renewed her appreciation for the things that really matter – family and friends!
Guess what? Now she is as busy as any full time worker. She has started looking for jobs and is helping other women like her overcome such blues. I have no doubt in my mind that it is only a matter of time before she restarts her career in the field of her interest.
If she can do it, you can do it, too! Don’t let your own mind lose the battle even before you start marching.
It is rare to find a person who is a 100% solution person or 100% problem person. Most of us lie somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. We change our position depending on our situation, state of mind, and resources available to us. But if we choose to slide more towards being a solution person, the obstacles in life become much easier to overcome.
As you were reading this you thought about at least one situation where you are either a problem or a solution. Share in the comments what is it you are doing or did which made you that type of a person? What can you do differently in order to become more of a solution person?
As always thanks for sharing your tips and experiences!
©2014 Manasi Kakade
Thanks to Varun Kakde of Aperture Adventures for the beautiful featured image.