Lesson 40: If you think it might be(come) an issue, treat it like it is

Assumptions may be ill advised, but there are times when you have to trust what you know and use your instincts.  This isn’t about making assumptions. This is about paying attention to what is going on around you.  If you know, or even just think, something might become an issue, isn’t it in your best interest to head off problems before they escalate?  It is like a fire.  Smoke doesn’t always indicate a fire, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take steps to ensure it can’t get out of control.  If you think it is possible that it will get out of control, your best option is to get ahead of the problem.  If you notice that things are tense or something is off, there is a good chance you are not too far from the truth.  Trust your instincts and handle the matter delicately.

It is better to be proactive than reactive.  Get ahead of the problems.  Being reactive constantly puts you on the defensive.  You are already on damage control because the damage already exists.  It is not always easy, if ever, to be able to predict when things are potentially going to derail.  If you could really read minds, you would never have any problems or issues navigating life.  Heck, you could turn it into a career and then you would neutralize the number one cause of most arguments.  Finances.  As soon as you notice something is different or things are not quite the way they usually are, get started on identifying the issue and plan how you are going to address it.  Don’t rush, but don’t wait too long either.  Unlike a fine wine, problems do not age well. 

Things left unsaid and problems left unsolved have a tendency to build up into a bigger issue down the road.  The longer these situations go unaddressed, the more likely it is that things will end up getting worse.  You can’t hide from your problems and you can’t pretend that they don’t exist.  Technically, you can, but you are dreaming if you think you are going to like the result.  Most positive outcomes don’t happen by chance.  You need to take action.  As soon as you start to see or believe there is an issue, confront it with your significant other immediately.  The sooner you take the initiative and address the issue, the easier it will be to resolve.  It is unlikely that it will be easy, but the work needs to be done and the result, for better or worse, will leave everyone involved better off. 

No matter what, you will learn something.  Make sure you pay close attention.  The details matter.  Second chances aren’t always given and they are most certainly never up to you.  Most issues are never beyond fixing with the proper approach and attitude.  If you are lucky enough to get a second chance, understand that the only way it will work out is if you are better than before.  You may have a chance to fix things, but this will be a much rougher path.  Your flaws are out in the open and no matter what you do, it is unlikely that they will be forgotten.  The only way to avoid this is to ensure that you head off any issue before it arises.  And remember, you are not alone.  It is their relationship too.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Takeaways:

  1. There is a big difference between assumptions and instincts.
  2. Don’t rush, but don’t wait too long either.
  3. Be proactive and get ahead of any issues.
  4. Just because you deserve a second chance, doesn’t mean you will get one.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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