To be human is to feel confusion at times.

Confusion is similar to a jigsaw puzzle. Each piece represents an action or words spoken. Other bits signify opportunity or decisions yet to be made.

When we start a jigsaw we spread all the pieces out. Each bit requires examination. Grouping similar colours together. We then get busy organising each section we created. Constantly referring to the picture on the front of the box.

These puzzles can become frustrating. They take time and patience. You don’t pack up an ongoing project when you’re done for the day. It’s left as is, ready for your attention when you come back with a fresh perspective. Steadily working towards its completion.

That is what we have to do with confusion. Chop it up, divide it and then piece it together so that all the bits are tidily attached forming the big picture.

• You’ve arranged to meet a friend at a café. He has a reputation for always being late. Known for his exaggerated excuses. This shows lack of organisation and time management skills. Does he take into consideration that you have a life as well? What do you do when his tardiness is no longer appropriate?

  • A couple decide to separate. The father moves out of the family home. Before he leaves, both parents sit the children down and explain what’s going on. Dad is quick to reassure the kids that he will be in constant contact with them.
     The father arranges times to visit. However he has got into the habit of not showing up at all or phoning at the last minute to cancel.
     Research highlights children will internalise the separation as their fault. They will also believe Dad not turning up is because of something they have done. A mother’s heart breaks seeing her children upset.
  • Say for instance your 20th birthday is coming up. Your parents generally make a big deal out of your birthday. The build up to it is always a delight. However this year not a word has been said about your 20th.
  • You’ve started to hint about your special day but no one in the family is biting.
     On the said day, everyone is low key. Your parents give you a gift and get on with it. Normally you’re showered with loads of attention.
     You feel let down. Thinking your 20’s have not started off at all well. You can’t understand the big change your family’s attitudes.
     When you get home that evening, not even the lights are on. One would have thought there would be a birthday dinner.
     Then the lights are switched on. There’s a big loud noise of ‘SURPRISE’. Now the confusion makes sense. You’re back to your jolly self.

That dam brain. If only it would stop thinking.

You’ve made a decision. At times you’re ecstatic by this choice. Other times fear, doubt and uncertainty arise. What initially seemed like a great idea is now slowly being picked apart by the other side of your brain.

It feels as if your mind is at odds with you. One part can’t wait for change. The other side wants you to stay exactly where you are.

This is natural for the brain to want you to remain in a safe, comfortable place. Never advancing or challenging yourself. This can be overcome by discipline and getting to know yourself better.

Read Superhero Strengths to the Emotional Rescue to familiarise yourself with several techniques to overcome negative self-talk.

Confusion can be an exciting time.

A dream job offer has been placed in your lap. It means relocating. Leaving everything you’re familiar with behind. Starting over in a new place.

Weighing up the odds.

• You can forget about doing it, your fear factor is far too high. You are happy for you life to remain as it is.
 • You can accept the offer, give it a go and if you don’t like it you can come home.
 • There’s only one choice. You’re prepared to start afresh, leaving your loved ones to do their thing. You know where they live.

RELATED: How to Find Clarity When Your Confused About What to Do.

Bad habits — Drugs, alcohol and gambling.

Trying to keep the people in your circles from knowing the extent of your addiction. New habits have formed leaving old behaviours that people are familiar with behind.

Family members and friends are hurt by your new conduct. Everybody is confused as to why you’re behaving the way you are.

• There used to be decent meals on the table. Now you’re lucky if you can afford to buy a few vegetables and add pasta.
 • Reliable is now a thing of the past. Inconsistency in behaviour has become apparent to those close. Concern has started to surface.

Domestic violence.

Two parties decide to enter into a partnership. What begins as a blossoming relationship slowly turns to insults. After a while pushes and shoves have become slaps and then punches.
 The victim is left confused. Wondering what happened, to bring about such a change in behaviour. Initially looking upon themselves as the reason the perpetrator loses self-control.

The heart gets confused when its constantly told I love you by the same person who destroys it. — R.H Sin

This post is to highlight where confusion exists when physical violence becomes part of a relationship. For further reading on this serious matter see, Dear Domestic Violence.

Noticeable changes in a relationship.

• The regular kiss good bye is no longer on offer. This leads to hurt. The person left to ponder the reason for this change.
 • Why? Your partner never used to shower after work. A new practice of showering on occasions has begun.
 • Avoiding the relationship. Excuse after excuse for not being around.
 • Suspicious actions: Guarding their mobile phone, whereas before they used to leave it lying around.

When words and actions are not in sync, yet it’s understandable.

• The electrician talking about rewiring the family home. Never getting around to it. This may be frustrating yet its normal behaviour.
 • The partner who is a mechanic. Always threatening to put a new motor in your car and never gets around to it. Now you’re broken down at a set of lights in peak hour traffic. Hubby already knows he is in for a tongue lashing for not having come through on his word. He is not confused by this at all. It’s expected.

The talk.

What used to be is no longer. He or she used to do something all the time and now they don’t do it at all.
 • What has changed?
 • Are you game enough to question it? Or are you too scared of the answer?
 It can be a lonely and tough time when you’re relationship is in doubt and you’re unsure of your partner. Mustering up the nerve to open up communication can go two ways. It either sorts out your worry. Or you realise some truths you may not have been ready to hear.
 RELATED: Are You the Reasons Your Relationship is Over?

Confusing conduct.

Another person aims bad behaviour towards you. (Examples, insults, bullying, lying). You’re not responsible for other people’s behaviour. Even when you don’t understand why they are doing what they have done.
 You know when you’re confused. There’s a nagging feeling sitting in the pit of your stomach that doesn’t feel right.

When you don’t know how to put behaviour into words.

Reflect on the situation. Start an investigation. Dissect each moment. Breaking the scenario up into jigsaw pieces.
 • Where did it begin? How did the situation come about?
 • Examine the words and actions of all those involved. Who said what?
 • Assess your response.
 • Was their behaviour justifiable?
 • Do the people involved usually behave the way they did towards you? If so how?
 In most cases you will be able work out the answers you’re looking for. However not all confusion will be worth your time and energy. Make sure the situation or the people involved are important to you.
 Become an expert in owning your own behaviour. Recognise the words and actions of others. They may hurt and be aimed at you. That does not make the other person right.

I believe the process of going from confusion to understanding is a precious, even emotional, experience that can be the foundation of self-confidence. — Brian Green

Wrapping Up.

Feeling stumped can be a troubling or exciting time. Confusion can be managed. Examine the situation by breaking it down into small components. Use the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle to separate behaviour, actions, words and emotions.
 Focusing in on all areas of a situation, rather than seeing the scenario as a whole. You better equip yourself with information using this technique.

Confusion can be managed. Examine the situation by breaking it down into small components. Click To Tweet
 We should never ignore when our minds feel muddled. Some answers are what we have been searching for. Other conclusions are painful. You may very well decide no action is required. This means you have made informed choices. That’s all you can expect from yourself.

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Originally published at on April 27, 2016.

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