So how do you tackle problems? I teach the Wise Choice Process (by Skip Downing) in my College 101 class. It consists of 6 steps:
Step One in dealing with a problem is to identify the specific issue that you want to change. This may seem easy but sometimes you have to look below the surface to figure out what's truly bothering you. For example, you may be upset that your husband never helps out around the house. When you take the time to think about it, you realize that you don't really care about those dirty dishes. Instead you care that he seems to be taking you for granted.
Step Two is determining how you would like the situation to be. In the above example, you may wish that your husband thanked you more often or emptied a dishwasher once in awhile to show his appreciation.
Step Three is where the real work begins. Here you have to make a list of all the possible actions you could take that would help you reach your goal. Again, in our scenario this could be having a conversation with your husband, dropping subtle hints, silently fuming, or stopping all housework on your part until he gets the message.
Step Four involves trying to figure out the likely outcome of each choice in step three.
- Talking to your husband may make him angry or he may realize he's been slacking and step up his game. He may even tell you things that bother him and the two of you may develop a stronger relationship.
- Leaving subtle hints may work in the short term but not over the long haul.
- Silently fuming will not get you what you want plus you'll get angry.
- Finally, if you stop all the housework it will drive you crazy plus it may start a fight.
Step Five requires you to choose which option you're going to try...then you go for it! In our example the best option seems to be sitting down with your man and having that talk.
Step Six is where you assess what you did and whether or not it worked. If it did then you have solved the problem!!
As you can imagine, when I teach this to 18 year old students they roll their eyes and look bored. Ah, youth! I can personally attest to the fact that this works. You may not try it on a small problem but it is worth the effort on those big whoppers that keep you up at night. Good luck!!