Soni's Blog

XY Problem

We'd like to talk about a late friend of ours. He was known as Near. We've been struggling to talk about this, about him, because we've felt that in order to do so, we'd first need to become a target ourselves.

In technical fields, the "XY problem" basically means trying to do X when you want to do Y. Specifically, it involves asking for help doing X, without ever taking Y into account. However at the same time, we note that it's extremely condescending to tell someone they're experiencing an XY problem. It is much more helpful to guide them to their desired goal instead of telling them they're doing it wrong.

Recently, we were asking our friends for help with becoming a target, trying to convince them that we needed to become a target. Before this post, you could not have told us we were having an XY problem about Near or about trying to become a target. We wouldn't have listened, we'd just have gotten even more frustrated than we already were. But now we know, making ourselves a target doesn't help us talk about him, it only makes us a target. And it genuinely hurts our friends, and for that we're sorry.

We'd like to talk about Near, and we want help talking about him.