Have you ever faced a problem where the only solution to that problem is unacceptable?
This would be a way of framing “impossible situations”. They are not really impossible, but one is unwilling to accept the “solution” to that problem, it is definitely not to taste and so one puts up with the ongoing problem rather than grasp the thorny stem of the solution. That which stops is a little fear, a large dose of stubbornness and plenty of will; most of all that potential loss of face is unbearable. And so, one is stymied in the problem because of unwillingness for the solution.
To give a pictorial illustration; imagine that, for whatever reason, you are walking along a deserted beach with a partner, a lover. He or she has chosen that beach because they need to tell you something. As the walk continues they reveal that they have, for many months, been cross dressing and having “extra-marital” affairs at your home and in your bed. You become utterly enraged at the betrayal, scream and shout and storm off into the distance. The only way back from the deserted beach is the car you arrived in together. It is some considerable distance away. You have called your erstwhile partner every name under the sun. In your anger you get stuck in some sandy-mud, it goes up well over your knees. You cannot get out of the mud easily, so you wriggle, struggle and start to sink deeper. In the distance you can see your other half walking back to the car with their back towards you. You cannot wave at them. In your hand is your mobile ‘phone, there is some signal. Rather than call, you struggle and sink some more. The tide is now starting to turn, and, in these parts, it comes in quickly. It looks as though the only person who could help you is that bastard down there at the other end of the beach who looks to be climbing into your lovely 4×4. You are absolutely livid with them and do not want to lose face by calling them and asking for help, not until hell freezes over will you talk to that bastard again.
How long do you wait until you make the call?
This is an example of an impossible situation that is not really impossible, but in order to get out of it you have to conquer self. There is no other way, you must grit your teeth, bite the bullet and get on with it or die. Although this scenario is manufactured it does relate to real-life situations in which people will die rather than lose face. The solution is simple enough, but it is unacceptable.
Having cued this up:
Have I ever had a problem, a situation, in which the only solution was totally unacceptable to me?
Was this largely due to fear of loss of face?
How long did I let that situation go on for?