Maybe you even feel torn between the desire to see it through and the urge to run for the hills.
Today, I’m going to explain in detail why your greatest life strength is likely your worst relationship weakness AND give you the three steps needed to stop being taken advantage of by these parasitic, freeloaders.
Understanding this one problem will help you recognize why your relationships aren’t as mutually beneficial as you’d hoped.
So what is it?
It’s being solution-oriented, better known as problem-solving.
You may be thinking, Kris, that’s a great quality to have. How could it possibly cause such a problem?
I get it. As a solution-oriented person myself, I don’t like to waste time blaming others or wallowing in self-pity. If you’re anything like me, you don’t crumble under pressure—you get things done!
And that is an amazing quality that many people will be drawn to. Including toxic, dependent, leeching, narcissists.
Are you seeing the problem?
While problem-solving is an amazing quality, when it comes to relationships, your ‘solution’ focus can actually BE the problem.
What are common relationship problems?
You have a God-given gift of knowing what to do in each situation. And you likely derive joy in helping others solve their problems. But that’s where the true problem comes in—when you find yourself solving the same problems for the same people, and that incredible strength that you once felt so good about now has made you feel used.
Your relationships aren’t mutually beneficial, and it’s draining the life out of you.
Your solution-seeking gift is attracting nothing but problem-oriented people like a magnet.
Why? Because, the dynamic works perfectly together. Solution-oriented people don’t feel alive unless they are solving problems, so it makes sense that they would be drawn to people who need help.
And of course, the problem-oriented person would be attracted to the solution-seeking person because well, they need solutions.
But the bigger problem is they only want your solutions in theory. They have no interest in using your divine wisdom to pull themselves out of the rut—they expect you to do that. They have no interest in being responsible for their own success—they’ll rely on you for that.
And because it’s impossible for you to play that role for long, ultimately you are seen as the problem. Yet because solutions are what you do best, you stay in the trenches until 5, 10, or 20 years go by and you’ve wasted your precious gift on someone who squandered it.
At this point, you’re probably wondering if you’ve got to squash your solution superpower. The answer is, absolutely not! We need you problem solvers.
But if you do want to flourish in mutually beneficial relationships, you are going to want to harness that strength of yours.
- Assess the problem: If you’ve determined that the people in your life have a problem for every solution, it may be time to stop casting your pearls before pigs (Matthew 7:6).
- Assess the person. Your solution superpower may be ready to aid every needy victim who manipulates you for help but before you offer your gift, examine the fruit. If it’s someone you’ve had a history with and they’ve shown no fruit from previous solutions, re-examine how much energy you want to give to this situation. Set boundaries and ALWAYS require participation. Remember, just like Jesus in Mark 3:5 told the man with the withered hand, “Stretch out your hand,” people have to do their part
- Assess their part. Just like a tremendously gifted actor doesn’t take on every role presented to them, as a solution-oriented person, you shouldn’t take on every problem that crosses your path. Satan knows your gift and he’s more than happy to send people your way to distract and disorient you from the TRUE problems that need solutions. Be aware.
Narcissistic, toxic people can be lazy, dependent opportunists, especially in relationships. Even if they aren’t using you for your super solving strength, they need people who can take care of themselves because they have NO interest in being responsible to or for you (except where it may make them look good.)
That’s why boundaries are crucial with these people, so your super strengths can be put to God’s use, not their abuse.
To learn how to set boundaries like a boss and avoid these common relationship problems, check out this episode here.
Want to learn how to identify and deal with all the difficult people in your life? Grab your FREE Toxic People Survival Guide here.