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- life coach - An advisor who helps people with problems, decisions, and goal attainment in daily life.
- empathy, sympathy - Empathy denotes a deep emotional understanding of another's feelings or problems, while sympathy is more general and can apply to small annoyances or setbacks.
- gravity - Comes from Latin gravitas, from gravis, "heavy, important"—and it can apply to situations and problems as well as to people.
- insoluble - Can be applied to problems that cannot be solved as well as substances that will not dissolve in liquids.
- As rust eats iron, so care eats the heart —Auguste Ricard
- Being a new employee … it’s like picking up a screenplay and starting to act your part, only it’s Act Three and you have not been in Acts One or Two —Carol Clark, New York Times, July 28, 1986
- Burdensome as a secret —French proverb
- Carry your problems with you from place to place like a Santa Claus sack —George Garrett
- Ceased to be an apparent problem … the way crumbs swept under a rug cease to be an apparent problem —Rick Borsten
- Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body —Seneca, The Elder
- (Doubt … ) dug at his peace of mind like a broken fingernail —F. van Wyck Mason
- (The electronics-crammed production booth is beginning to) resemble the bridge of a destroyer under air attack —Michael Cieply, writing about taping of a Bill Cosby television segment that ran into problems, Wall Street Journal, September 26, 1986
- Face a problem with all the joy of a team preparing for a game it expects to lose. —Anon
- Felt speaking about one’s personal problems was rather like talking about one’s surgery scars … a subject of consuming interest only to one’s self —C.D.B. Bryan
- Heading toward disaster, as certainly as a four-year-old behind the wheels of a Maserati —Vincent Canby, New York Times, February 28, 1986
- He was like a mathematician with an abstruse problem, worrying over it, but worrying very calmly and impersonally —James Hilton
- I am a man smothered with women and children, like a duck with onions —Sir Charles Napier
Napier made these comparisons when he reflected on his life in England after retiring as commander of British forces in northern India.
- An international crisis is like sex, as long as you keep talking about it, nothing happens —Harold Coffin, Reader’s Digest, September, 1961
- It’s [being on a losing streak] like a little time box that’s going to explode —John Pennywell, football player on Columbia University’s Lions, New York Times, November 8, 1986
- (I was) living as if I were squeezed in an iron hand —Honoré de Balzac
- (The whole of) my life has passed like a razor … in hot water or a scrape —Sydney Smith
- (My immediate) problems … as untouchable as a raw wound —Norman Mailer
- The problem stayed in the front of his mind like a sheer cliff he could not begin to climb —Ken Follett
- Pry at the mousehole of a solution like a cat with infinite patience —Bill Granger
- Second-hand cares, like second-hand clothes, come easily on and off —Charles Dickens
- Sign of trouble … like seeing a cannon muzzle poke out of the woods —James Sterngold, New York Times, March 22, 1986
- The solution rushed on him like a fire storm —T. Coraghessan Boyle
- They’re [troubles] piled on my head like snows on a mountain top —Bernard Malamud
- They would gnaw on it for days like two puppies with a rubber bone —Charles Portis
- Troubled as a plane with one wing —Anon
- Trouble … fell across her shoulders like a cloak. It was as if she had touched a single strand of a web, and felt the whole thing tremble and knew herself to be caught forever in its trembling —Ellen Gilchrist
- Troublesome as a wasp in one’s ears —Thomas Fuller
- Troubles visited from above like tornadoes —Marge Piercy
- Weaponless deterrence is like bodiless sex. It gets you nowhere —James Morrow
- Women like to sit down with trouble as if it were knitting —Ellen Glasgow
- Work like an antitoxin … before the complications come —Clifford Odets