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Maybe the Problem Is You

There’s no easy way to put this… Sometimes the problem may be you.

It may be something about you if you look at others in your life and think, “Why does everyone always seem to have a problem with the way I act at family gatherings?” or “Why do my co-workers always seem to hate me, no matter where I work?”

Or you think, “Wow, everyone else seems to have things so easy. Why does my life always have to be so difficult and fraught with problems?”

Is the problem you? And if so, what can you do about it??

Is it You?

The problem may have something to do with you if…

  • Every relationship you have seems to end in failure
  • You have very few friends, or the friendships you do have are very shallow
  • You have a difficult time interacting with others at work
  • You have a difficult time interacting with your family
  • Time and time again you think to yourself, “What is wrong with everyone?”

These are just a few of the signs that the problem isn’t with everyone else. We all feel this way to some extent at one point or another in our lives. But if you feel like this nearly every day, and the problems you have with others seem to be endless, then the problem may be with you.

Acknowledging the Problem

This is probably the most difficult part: Having the insight and objectivity to finally realize that perhaps the real problem isn’t with everyone else. The problem may be with how you’re interacting with the world and how you’re perceived by others.

Maybe the problem is as simple as the way you communicate. For instance, co-workers and colleagues appreciate being told when they’re doing a good job, or to get recognition for their “wins” and accomplishments. So before you make some kind of request or offer criticism, it’s always a good idea to begin with the positives. Doing so makes the other person feel valued and appreciated — something we all like to feel!

Perhaps the problem is more ingrained, however, and a part of our personality. That requires more work on your part to see and change it (qualities that are a part of our personality are especially difficult for us to “see” objectively). You have to take the first steps toward change — nobody can do it for you.

Working on Changing You

The good news is that if the problem is indeed you, then the solution also lies within you. That means you can change the direction your life is taking for the better. But it also means you have to consciously choose to change.

Change is scary — few people undertake it without having deep second thoughts about it. In this sort of situation, “change” means getting some sort of help for taking a fresh approach in your life. Most often this means seeing a therapist for psychotherapy. A therapist can help with everything from learning how to better and more clearly communicate with others, to changing core parts of your personality to help make you a better person.

Even if the problem is you, you can address it. Change won’t take the form of some sort of psychiatric medication (although a medication may help for symptoms related to your underlying concern). Changes like this only happen when you make a concerted effort to improve. And if doing so on your own isn’t making much of a difference, turning to a trained therapist or other mental health professional is the best course of action.

Woman in the mirror photo available from Shutterstock

Maybe the Problem Is You


John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.


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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Maybe the Problem Is You. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 16, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/maybe-the-problem-is-you/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.