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Video: We Are All Great Advisers, Or Three Simple Questions For Dealing With Difficult Situations - Society
It so often happens that the psychologist's clients perceive him as the last resort in making important life decisions. When a psychological problem arises (for example, in a relationship), first the person tries to solve it on his own, then he turns to the nearest authorities. Usually, the first advisers are friends and / or close relatives. Although recently the Internet has become the main assistant in decision-making. You type the required query in the search engine, and immediately at your service the wisdom of the crowd - probably a similar problem has already been discussed on some forums or on social networks. And for sure the "people's experts" - wise advisers - already know the best solution to my problem … But is it really so?
How crowd wisdom works
Let's check. Here is the situation: a 34-year-old woman, does not work, recently gave birth to her third child. I learned that from time to time her husband cheats on her with girls of easy virtue. I tried to talk to him about it, but the conversation turned into a scandal. During this conflict, her husband dumped a whole mountain of claims on her. And after the conflict, he seemed to be replaced - he turned into a real domestic tyrant, who is always dissatisfied with everything and is capable of an open display of aggression. Many new humiliating situations began to arise. For example, if earlier the husband simply transferred money to her card, now every ruble (not for herself, for children) has to literally beg with bows.
What will the “people's expert advisors” say to such a situation? Something like: “Throw him as quickly as possible! Divorce and leave! " These recommendations are reminiscent of my favorite anecdote. Two people meet, one is fine, while the other has a bandaged cheek, a tooth hurts badly. The first one says: “Why are you suffering with this tooth ?! If it were my tooth, I would have pulled it out long ago! " To which the second answers him: "Well, of course, if it were your tooth - I would have pulled it out too long ago!"
The moral is simple: It's incredibly easy to solve problems from our own belfry, especially if we are not emotionally involved in them and do not consider the depth and complexity of relationships that can bind other people together. And if you add the following touches to this situation: this woman has no other relatives in this city and she (with three children) has absolutely no place to live? What if it suddenly turns out that they have a joint mortgage and / or huge loans have been issued for it (at the request of the husband)? And if their whole life together before this quarrel for many years looked like a fairy tale, in which everything was fine and wonderful?
It is clear that "people's experts" can easily dismiss these facts as well. Usually the following arguments are used: “Yes, there was a similar situation in my life (in the life of a colleague / friend / acquaintance)! I ran away from my tyrant husband in the same way - without money or an apartment. Nothing, somehow survived, but now I'm happy! " An appeal to personal experience is, of course, a super argument …
Only you don't know this woman, and how much she resembles you is a big question. It is possible that you had inner strength and hidden resources that this woman does not have at all. And the fact that you survived and found happiness in such a situation does not at all guarantee that another person is capable of it. Again it turns out: "If it were your tooth, I would also pull it out" …
Three important questions for any difficult situation
How would a professional psychologist act in such a situation? He would ask this woman three questions. And, perhaps, I would repeat these questions more than once until I achieved a crystal-clear understanding and a clear answer from the woman herself:
1. How do you feel?
It is clear that in such situations, a whole tangle of emotions arises inside. There is anger, bitter resentment, unpleasant surprise, indignation, hope for the best, and bright memories from the past, and much, much more. This very tangle of emotions must be pulled to the surface and unraveled - that is, clearly understood. As a result of such an emotional revision, it should become clear which experience is dominant. What do you really want to do most with your unfaithful spouse: either hug and forgive, or shoot with rotten tomatoes?
2. What do you want?
This refers to how you imagine your relationship with this person in the long term. Do you see yourself next to / with him in a year, five, ten years? What will your relationship be like then? How much do you like this picture? How realistic is it, do you believe in it? Do you have a positive future together? If a person is ready to go through such a crisis in a relationship, he is usually able to imagine a completely realistic joint bright future. If the relationship is completely destroyed, then it is extremely difficult even to imagine such a picture.
3. What can be done?
If positive emotions outweigh (item 1), and if there is a positive image of a joint future (item 2), then what can be done today or in the very near future in order to fix / improve the situation? What ideas are there: how you can change your behavior and what changes do you expect from your relationship partner? As soon as such ideas appear, it is necessary to plan a "behavior experiment" - to try to change negative ways / patterns of communication. Start building communications in such a way that they do not lead to a quarrel every time, but at least slightly improve your relationship.
At the same time, the person himself comes up with and implements a concrete decision on how to change his behavior (what to do to correct / improve relations). And this is his own decision, not a tip from external authorities. If a person made this decision himself, then his responsibility for the implementation of this decision will be much higher. And even if this decision turns out to be wrong, it will be the same mistake from which a person learns and becomes stronger. It is always easy to ignore someone else's wrong advice and exclude it from your life experience.
Where are they, the best advisers?
We are all great counselors, especially if our tooth isn't hurting. But only the person himself will always be the best advisor to himself. Therefore, the best advice is to help someone else formulate the questions correctly and gradually find working answers to them. This is how professional psychologists work, and this is where the difference between the wisdom of the crowd and the scientific approach lies.