“Sounds like a you problem.”  –Tim Young

.

I borrowed this phrase from my middle son.  Did I mention I used to be an enabler?  Hmmmm, well, I was.   People just had to look like they needed something (especially in an emotional/psychological way) and Angie was right there.  They didn’t even have to ask.  I have since reformed after a major crash of a symbiotic relationship with a friend went horribly wrong.  I learned something.  People need to take responsibility for their own problems.  That doesn’t mean I can’t help them.  It means I choose when, where, and how I do so.  I don’t put myself and others at risk to jump to the rescue when the person needs to learn how to rescue him/herself.  Painfully, I realized that taking on other people’s problems wasn’t good for either of us.  Quitting was difficult as well, especially for those used to having me say yes all the time.  But, they got over it and so did I.

.

Feel free to use the phrase, because it works very well at deflecting those who want to make  their problem yours.  My grandchildren hear this phrase a lot.  One granddaughter likes to hang off me and say, “I’m bored!”  I say, “Sounds like a you problem.”   I may suggest some things she can do, but my point is to teach her how to entertain herself.  “I’m not the entertainment committee.” works here too.  It’s amazing how life changes when you allow other people to have their ‘you problem’ without making it a ‘me problem’.

.

Have you ever taken on someone else’s problem either by helping them too much or by worrying about them?  Do you try to get others to take on your problems?  Do you get angry when they don’t?  Do you recognize the dangers of enabling?

.

Then, a week or so ago, I was in prayer mode.   Thinking about someone else and praying for their issues, thinking about something they do that bothers me.  Then, I hear this (inaudible) voice saying, “Sounds like a you problem.”  Hmmmmmmmm.   OK, God, I get it.   The other person didn’t have a problem, I did.  I wanted to make it that person’s problem because that would put all the ‘happy place’ back into my life.  However, just because something bothers me does not make it a problem for others.   I hate it when God uses my own words to smack me up side the head and make me take a hard look at myself.  I’m so glad He does it though.

.

Do you try to make your issues into other people’s problems?  “I would never….” “If only they’d….”  “They need to keep their child in check….”  That’s not how you do it…..”  Have these or other similar words ever crossed your mind or your lips?  Can you recognize the difference between a YOU problem and a ME problem?   How do you set boundaries between you and me problems?  Do you allow yourself to be guilted into saying yes?

Advertisements