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girl tanning "Sometimes I feel the solution is right there, and yet I just can’t see it". Transactional Analysis calls it discounting, or unawarely ignoring information relevant to the solution of a problem.

In other words, usually we can’t find a way forward because we are ignoring useful information without even realizing it.

Now think of your problem for a moment, then read the following story, and answer the questions in Italic: good ideas will come up.

An Italian mother with 5 teenager sons goes on holiday to Sardinia. It’s their first time on the beach for this Summer, the sun is scorching, and they plan to spend the whole day by the sea. In short, they should all use a protective lotion, but the 5 sons feel too macho for that…

Mum: “Come on! Use this lotion if you don’t want a sunburn!”

Son1:”What are you talking about? It is not very sunny”
Are you ignoring the existence of your problem?

Son2:”You should stop worrying all the time, the sun is not going to burn my skin”
Are you ignoring the effects of your problem?

Son3:”I am not a sissy: a real man doesn’t use protective lotions”
Are you ignoring the possibility to do things differently?

Son4:”Mum, I know I will be in pain tonight, but I would be too ashamed to rub a lotion on my skin, and having ‘mummy’ doing it would be even worse!”
Are you ignoring your ability to change?

Son5:”Stop yelling and give me the lotion! I guess I’ll need to find a nice girl to help me out…”
Sunburn problem solved! Have you solved your personal problem too? For more on this topic check out Do you really want to know the truth? and Fun makes change easy

Comments

What a fantastic story... funny and useful, too.

Thanks Alison! I should mention that the inspiration for this post comes from the so-called Discount Matrix: useful stuff to find solutions to our everyday problem.

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Thank you for posting this article. I also try hard to work on solving problems as much as humanly possible lol and this article helps tremendously. My appreciation to you is in the highest sense.
To show you my gratitude I would like to share with you a post I found that also helps with solving problems in relationships that have to do with problems with yourself: http://consciousflex.blogspot.com/2008/01/how-to-dissolve-problems-in-human.html
Thank you indeed. I hope it helps you and others who read as much as this post of yours as helped, please keep up the incredible work in helping others!

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