Do this before dealing with a difficult person.

Serena Kohli Lal
2 min readJul 26, 2022


The biggest mistake we make when problem-solving.

A few weeks ago I got a call from a friend. She was frustrated with her parents who were making decisions about their finances and assets that she didn’t think were sound. “Why can’t they just get on the same page and figure it out?” She would ask angrily. “Can’t they see how idiotic they are being?” “I am so sick of dealing with them. They shouldn’t even be in this situation!”

To be honest, I didn’t really understand the details. I didn’t need to though. I knew it was my job to just listen.

But then she continued on her rant. “Ugh. I guess I’m just going to have to take care of this myself. I’m going to have to put a down payment myself and finally put an end to this!”

Hold on.

It’s possible her down payment idea was the best solution. It’s possible it was mechanically sound and brilliant and met everyone’s need. It’s possible. But in that instant I knew whatever she did was going to be borne of the same frustration and anger in which she was experiencing the problem.

Her down payment and any other ideas she was coming up was going to be received in the same energy of frustration that she created it.

So what to do instead?

Pause. Go to where the problem was already solved. Imagine it. Sit in that energy. Then come up with a solution.

It might even be the same or a very similar solution. But it will be received very differently.

And what if you can’t imagine the problem already solved? You might still be in the vibration of your reaction. You can’t rush it. Take your time. Process it all and stay with whatever the emotions are. Once it passes, try again.



Serena Kohli Lal

wharton mba turned life coach. i write about spirituality, life purpose, the importance of your wants, and sometimes inequity.