Social Question

butterflykisses's avatar

Are we the creators of our own problems?

Asked by butterflykisses (1376points) December 15th, 2009

I just read a comment that stated, People are usually the creators of their own personal problems. I am not sure how I feel about this as I am still thinking on it. I thought maybe others thoughts may help me make up my mind.

What do you think?

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34 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I do not think that is wholly true. I think many of our personal problems stem from unresolved childhood wounds. In the sense that we don’t address those issues, we then perpetuate our problems and keep them from being resolved.

I don’t think it is usually a conscious choice though.

davids's avatar

Depends entirely on the sorts of problems. Some problems are purely your own fault, others cannot be helped.

I notice a lot of money problems are due to people not being responsible with their money, but then sometimes it’s due to circumstances outside of their control.

Axemusica's avatar

Things that bother you are only that because you allow them to. If you were entirely uncaring theoretically nothing would bother you.

Cotton101's avatar

not everything, but a lot of my problems comes from myself. we all have our crosses to bear and it is a daily challenge to keep myself out of my way and others! work hard at it, but sometimes i goof, as we all do!

dpworkin's avatar

There’s this guy named Sam who creates mine for me.

Blackberry's avatar

Not every single problem, but some things people do to themselves. But this is so varied you would have to treat each situation differently. Other problems are because of other people, like CEOs for example lol.

mrentropy's avatar

I know that my problems are, ultimately, my fault. But that’s just me.

erichw1504's avatar

Depends on the problem, but mostly, yes.

butterflykisses's avatar

I think we do create our own problems by simply caring.

I think everyone has to have problems unless they are a very very cold hearted person. Some people just have bigger ones than others.

But then is it because they care so much or is the problem really just bigger/smaller in magnatiude.

I have trouble when I reverse it too, I have heard people say they have no problems, are they happy? cold hearted? or lying? LOL

I think too much! =Z

Millenium_TheMysteriousM's avatar

Usually people ARE the “creators” of their own problems; either through inexperience or refusing to pay attention to “red flags” and their own common sense! People tend to prefer ignoring the effort it takes to avoid or prevent a problem. . . . . . .until. . . . . ‘alas. . . . . it does INDEED become a problem!

Arisztid's avatar


We may not be the original cause of all our problems (we are not in full control of what happens to us) but we choose how to react. Most often we have the ability to alleviate some of our problems and, those who choose to not, I say are wholly the cause of their problems.

Ivy's avatar

In a society that offers a level playing field for all its citizens, I’d answer yes. As it is, absolutely not.

LocoLuke's avatar

If we didn’t exist, our problems wouldn’t. Their existence depends on ours, so we are their source. A problem is only a problem if there is somebody to see it as one.

Talimze's avatar

Some people think that all of their problems come from their own actions, and other people think that their problems come exclusively from external causes. In reality, it’s probably a bit of both.
However, it does not matter what causes our problems; we’re responsible for them no matter where they come from.

YCLYHO's avatar

sometimes we are, but there are things which happen in life of which we have no control – like genetic health problems

aprilsimnel's avatar

I think our problems come in how we interpret situations and events, and then how we behave in reaction to those interpretations. That’s what makes meditating so importunate, so that you can center yourself and recognize that things aren’t always what they seem.

Silhouette's avatar

Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it and with this in mind, I’d say yes, we are the creators of our own personal problems. Situations that are beyond our control arrive in life, but ultimately we get to choose how we react to those situations.

stemnyjones's avatar

Sometimes we are the creators of our problems, and sometimes we are not.

I created the financial problems I’m experiencing right now… but some of my other problems I had no say in.

HumourMe's avatar

As a society yes as individuals no.

anima_velle's avatar

Our problems may or may not have been of our own doing.

But, they are all in place to teach us about ourselves.
The trueness of who we are is expressed when we find ourselves in the middle of a problem.
In the middle of a situation is where our true selves is revealed.

Then, it is up to us account for our decisions, actions and thoughts in order to learn from the situation.
Otherwise, it is very likely that we will face the same problem again and again until we decide to account for whatever is inside.

Though as hard and painful they may be, at the end, it’s for the best of us. I’d like to think so.

Naked_Homer's avatar

I know for certain it is a mix for me. I just need to work on things.

wundayatta's avatar

The problem with this idea is that it goes two ways. On the one side, it suggests that we take responsibility for our lives and that most of our problems result from things we did. If we take responsibility, we can fix them. On the other side, it says we are to blame for our own problems, and that if we only hadn’t been such stupid wusses, we wouldn’t have any problems.

The first understanding is somewhat constructive, and urges people to be proactive. The second understanding is a recipe for disaster.

I think these things are mostly handed out by inspirational speakers. They get people all riled up with their own power. “You can do it” is their mantra. For me, it’s pretty much crap. I know the “you can do it” sensibility in my sleep. Hell, I’ve handed it out on many an occasion, when I used to be a trainer, or when I teach my kids.

You can will yourself into happiness or responsibility or success, but when you don’t, then you take the whole responsibility on yourself. You vilify yourself. You wonder what you are this piece of shit who can’t make the simplest thing happen.

Obviously, I don’t think this is a useful approach any more. I don’t think judging ourselves is very healthy or helpful. I’m king of judgers, and I sure do a number on myself. In the end, I sort of know that none of it matters, except it does. Jobs are at stake. Relationships are at stake. Lives are at stake.

When someone commits suicide, are they the creator of their own problem?

ratboy's avatar

If a guy has a heart attack while driving 70mph on the freeway, swerves into your car and turns you into a quadraplegic, just chill—it’s only a problem if you see it as one.

LocoLuke's avatar

@anima_velle Buddhism captures this idea pretty well in a religious context.
@ratboy The question is whether or not that guy created his own problem, not whether it is a problem at all. If you think about it, every problem which a person has to go through is the result of some decision that he or she makes. The decision may not have been made with that intended result, but that doesn’t change the fact that they made it in the first place. For instance, that guy who has the heart attack might have made the decision to continue eating very fatty foods despite his extremely high cholesterol, and he made the decision to go driving that day. You would also have made the decision to go driving that day. While you may not have had any direct influence on his having a heart attack, there is a link between your choice to drive that day and the crash which turns you into a quadraplegic. By this line of reasoning, your decision is a cause of your problem, just not the only one.
Of course, this doesn’t really apply in cases where you don’t have any ability to make your own decisions, such as the one that Talimze describes.

lonelydragon's avatar

Not always. We don’t have complete control over what happens to us. But, to some extent, I think that our personalities can play a role in the types of problems that we encounter (i.e. a profligate will tend to have more money problems).

rooeytoo's avatar

I have an addictive personality. I know there are substances that I am not capable of handling in a responsible fashion. If I ignore this knowledge and imbibe, I am unequivocally causing my own problem. That is not true in all situations of my life.

So it is another one of those definite maybe situations!

janbb's avatar

NO – my mother is the creator of all of mine.

Blondesjon's avatar

You can either be your greatest helper or your biggest hindrance in life. You tell me.

butterflykisses's avatar

@Blondesjon Good point! One I will take very close to my heart. It helped me understand my current problem quite well. ( should I put him in a home?) Thank you. =)

Fred931's avatar

99.9% of the time. There’s always a chance that somewhere in the world there is this dude that’s just sitting there, minding his own business, when he suddenly gets arrested and sentenced to death for no really apparent reason. Could happen, iduno, its late and im tired.

LeopardGecko's avatar

I believe that we are the creators of all our problems and all of our goodness. Whether it be intentional or not.

mattbrowne's avatar

We are, but there are some real external factors as well. But this is no reason to put the entire blame for something on society as a whole.

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