5 Simple Steps out of Dilemma
Once upon a time, there was a monkey. He was sitting on a banana tree. The bananas hanging to his left and his right looked both so yummy that he could not decide which one to grab. After two days, the monkey fell from the tree. Dead. A tragic death by starvation.
I will admit that I made this up. Here is an example that I read about in a newspaper today:
A wife called the police on her husband. He was driving drunk. When the police caught him, his blood alcohol was over 1.0 mg/ml. The husband is in trouble now.
The first thought that might cross our minds could be: “How could she”.
Well, we don´t know the whole story and how many times she tried to influence him to change. The 6-year-old daughter was in the car and that was the last straw that broke the camels back.
I am sure the decision to call the police was not easy on the woman. It was a classic Catch 22.
What is a dilemma?
A dilemma is a situation where you have to make a decision for one of two options of which both seem to lead to undesired results.
No matter which way I go I will not get what I want.
A classic example from Paul Wathlawich:
A mother gifts two ties to her son. No matter which one he wears first the mother will ask: “Why did you not chose the other one first?”
Most of the time we get into dilemmas through other people, within relationships. Catch 22 situations can be found in all walks of life. Often we feel that we are forced to make a decision regarding a meaningful situation or important need. Or in other words: We feel that the decision has existential consequences so that it is not easy for us to let go of either option.
Consequences of dilemma
- denial (it´s not all bad)
- try and fight (I just have to try harder, next time with more xy it will work)
- resignation, feeling helpless (I failed again. Whatever I try I keep failing…)
Way out of dilemma
Stress is where you allow it to be
- Analyze the situation. Is there a middle way you might have overlooked?
- Analyze your emotions regarding option a) and b) Maybe one option is more harmful to you while the negative emotions towards the alternative are based on your fear to let another person down.
- Ask your heart
- Be proactive and try to eliminate negative consequences
- Do it NOW
If you still need help: Contact me or go to my website and schedule a session.