When I state, in psychotherapeutic work, that if the problem of the other affects you, the problem is yours, many may think of solidarity. However, actually thinking that the problem of the other affects you is a questioning of the neurotic attitude of blaming others and justifying one's own problems, anxieties, and frustrations as being caused, dictated, and provoked by the other. Solidarity attitudes can also be explained by the fact of being affected by the other's problems. But, this attitude of solidarity is generated by an observation of the other's need, the focus of the observation is on the other, quite different from what occurs when the core of one’s own difficulty, of one’s own problem, is attributed to the other.

Differences in attitudes of solidarity, empathy, anger, and attribution of blame or fear, for example, are explained by contextualization, by relational structures. In the context of availability, perceiving the other, the similar, generates encounter. In self-referenced contexts, in which one is the center of the world, desires and behaviors are determined by reducing them to contingency and attitudes are generated by one's own needs and frustrations. In these structures, the other is the trigger for anger, fear, envy, greed, attitudes committed to results and justifications for their own incapacities, frustrations and fears. In affective relationships, in family relationships, it is very common to find oppressor and oppressed, victim and executioner. These characterizations and these positions generate guilt, omissions, and anguish. These patterns are visible and often imposed: there is no way to blame who is beaten or who is victimized, if accommodation, adjustments, and bargains with what/who victimizes are not questioned.

In relational dynamics, in psychological experiences, being adjusted to those who disregard, humiliate and hinder, is usually an imposition of survival. This "no way out" results from reductionism to one's own needs. Denying any and all possibilities, reduced to survival, the human being is dehumanized. This alienation transforms him into an object; hence he feels like a receptacle, a target of everything that is thrown at him; he is always the victim and thus manages to evade responsibility and autonomy. The loss of autonomy is perceived by him as a point of justification; it is the final profit: the fault is on the other, on the system, on society, on the family, on the school and in short, on others. In these situations, it is very difficult to perceive that if the problem of the other affects you, the problem is yours, either because you agree with it or because you live together with it.

Participation and omission generate solutions as much as they can problematize. Being inconsiderate raises questions and denunciations, as much as it passivates or co-opts. The diversity of attitudes will define submission and passivity; it will make perceived limits or imposed, arbitrary and prejudiced rules, as well as the possibility of transforming them assuming one’s own motivations and identity. Whenever someone else's problem affects you, makes you unhappy, worries or blames you, the problem is yours. Realizing this process, questioning ambiguities and certainties is liberating because having problems in one's own control, at one's disposal, is what allows change, restructuring and liberation.

Quite often, faced with prejudices such as discrimination for being black, for being fat, for being an immigrant, it is almost pointless to say that if the problem of the other affects you, the problem is yours. However, this apparent nonsense disappears when values are questioned, when acceptance of one's own identity, one's own appearance and history, autonomy and security are discussed.

Being massacred/humiliated or abused in sudden situations does not allow for experiences of justifications given by the person who is the victim of them. Abuse, aggression, and malice are emphatic and apodictic. These situations are faced or are forgotten, and thus are not considered to be the result of one's own problem or the problem of the other. Displacements and slips to create justifications are impossible in the face of the unexpected and the unreasonable. It is not about self-referencing, but about a reality that is denied, hidden or that is extirpated and transformed. If there is repetition, the frequency of what happened may generate justifications and explanations, guilt and infinite displacements in which self-reference is experienced, and therefore everything starts to be explained as "the other's fault," "society allows it," "it’s because I am an immigrant," for example.

Anytime someone else's problem affects you, the problem is yours. Assuming this relational data, realizing that nothing is isolated, structures autonomy, freedom, and availability necessary for any action that is intended to question prejudices and social discrimination, actions which are fundamental to the experience of life itself.