“If you are not part of the solution then you are part of the problem.”
These wise words were quoted by Eldridge Clever, and they do speak the truth. See there are two kinds of extreme people in this world.
Those who take responsibility for their problems but mostly do it to the extreme and blame themselves even for things that are not their fault, and those who take very little responsibility for whatever happens to them.
The former is called neurotic persons while the latter are character disordered individuals. Some of us are well able to take up responsibility and analyze to see if they are part of the problems or whether it was not their fault but the psychological issues most of us face today can be attributed to these two extremities.
Neurotic vs Character Disordered
A neurotic person will assume they are at fault always when having a problem while a person with character disorder will blame the system, the society, the friends, the family, the job, the government, the economy, and the whole world around them always when they have a problem.
M Scott Peck, who was one of the most renowned psychiatrists and writers insists that one of the biggest challenges the world has today is distinguishing what we are and what we are not responsible for in this life. I agree.
When we assume responsibility for our problems then we put ourselves in a position to solve them. In most cases, it is easier to work with a neurotic than it is to work with a character disorder person.
This is because a neurotic will put in the work required to solve the problem while a character disordered will be too busy blaming everyone else to take responsibility.
For example, when there is a flop in business, a neurotic will simply blame it on their inability and see themselves as failures even if it was the economic crisis in the country that caused it and there is little they could have done.
A person with character disorder on the other end will blame the government, the system, corruption, policies, and everything but himself even when the fact is, his business strategy may have been messed up.
Character disordered people do not just destroy themselves, but their families too, most especially their children. Ever witnessed a parent who blamed their child for his or her failure in life?
Say a mother gave birth to a child unexpectedly when she was still young and sees their child as the problem? That if it were not for the child they would be far advanced in life?
Day in day out they will say “If it weren’t for you and your stupid father who made me pregnant, I’d be making millions by now. It is only because I gave birth to you that I got stuck.”
These parents fail to realize that it is because of their misguided decisions and choices, that they are wherever they are in life.
But then a child when young, having no much sense of their own, and believing their parents to always be right, will believe every hip of insult cast on them without much analysis or question.
They will believe what their parents tell them. They will believe that they are at fault and this gets embedded in their unconscious self, where they learn to always blame themselves whenever something wrong happens.
This leads to excessive stress which is unhealthy and may lead to mental illness. These kinds of people carry the weight of the world on their shoulders.
Spotting The Neurotic and Character Disordered
Usually one can usually spot a neurotic person by how they speak. They use the words ‘should’ ‘ought’ ‘shouldn’t’. This indicates that they view themselves as having an inferior self-image, always falling short, failing at things, and always making wrong decisions.
A character disorder person uses words such as ‘I can’t’ ‘had to’ and ‘have to’, indicating that they had no choice and they had no control over their behavior.
The fact is though, that everyone has elements of character disorder, and being neurotic, it just varies in extent for different individuals.
Question is, how do we strike a balance between the two? No problem can be solved until one assumes the responsibility of solving it.
The first is by understanding why we might want to avoid the truth in the case of character disorder, which is more lethal in my view.
One reason why we want to avoid the truth is that we are afraid of the pain of the consequences of that behavior.
For example, let us say I fail in my academics and I have a problem at home which could possibly be a minor reason why but the main reason I am aware of is that I do not study much.
If I am afraid of facing my reality and taking up the responsibility that my academic progress is weak because of me and not because my parents keep fighting at home which is something I cannot control.
Blaming my parents would never solve the problems but if I happen to face the fact that I have a part to play in my poor grades, then that way I can solve the problem.
Taking up responsibility and maybe seeking counseling because of my parent’s situation also helps me deal with the helpless feeling of the situation and take control of my life.
Another common example that most of us can relate to is our happiness. Most of us do not take responsibility for our happiness and rely on things, situations, and people to make us happy.
Related Post: Inside The Suicidal Mind
Spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, workmates, success, wealth, status, friends, and other things determine our happiness. The fact is, however, that true happiness is found within and not without.
Another common one is when we blame God for bad luck and misfortune or an entity when bad things happen.
At times it is our fault. At other times, it is simply not. The real challenge lies in knowing how to analyze and be truthfully honest with ourselves.
This is not easy and at times we might not see it as clearly. But those around us, whose judgment we respect can help us out.
Professional psychologists and psychiatrists can also come in here. Being real with one’s self and looking deep within through contemplation, meditation and reflection can also help us find the answers we seek.
Is it our fault when someone dies or falls sick and we wish we would have done more? Or when our marriages and relationships fail?
Is it our fault that we lost a job? Or when our friendships turn sour? What about when an accident happens? Or when we become hateful or resentful?
How about when our children turn to drugs or alcohol? Or when those we love leave us? The list goes on and on…
What would you blame corruption on? A rotten society, who would you blame it on? You give power to whatever you attribute it to.
Are you part of the problem, or part of the solution? M Scott Peck, clearly describes it saying there are opposite forces. We have unlimited power to decide how we respond and act on these forces.
You can choose to be part of the solution or forever keep complaining and whining.
You can sit down and critically analyze the situation or seek help! The thing, entity, or person we blame it on will help us either solve the problem or ignore it.
For you will give power to whatever you attribute the problem to, be it an entity, fate, or society.
I send you love and light!
Love, Laughter, Peace, Joy, Prosperity, Abundance