A person has a problem, a frustration, a grief. They focus on the problem, talk about the problem and nurture the problem until they finally begin to identify with the problem. They secretly love their problem. It gives them purpose.
You meet this person. They hope to share custody of their problem with you. They want to make it your problem, too.
In other words, they want to put a monkey on your back.
People know Wizzo is a problem solver so they assume he’ll be willing to have a long, pointless discussion with them about their monkey. They’re wrong. If that monkey gets near him he’ll kill it. Wizzo is not a monkeyfarmer.
Problem solvers believe in direct action: “Stab it through the heart with a knife.”
Life is good.
The person who loved that problem is wide-eyed, shocked that anyone might want to eliminate their beloved monkey. They didn’t want to kill it. They just wanted to talk about it.
“Stab it through the heart with a knife.” Discussion over.
Problems are monkeys.
Life without monkeys is good.
The Dixie Chicks sing Susan Gibson’s Wide Open Spaces