We all have people and things in our lives that drive us up the wall! Don’t we? And this is something that will never change. However we are definitely in control of how we respond. Here are a few things that help me respond in a way that makes me less worked up!
Most of the time our reactions to situations bothers us even more. Remaining silent is more often than not a better method of dealing with annoyances as opposed to speaking up.
There’s a reason why people don’t voice all their thoughts.
Most of us try to filter our thoughts in order to not make us say negative, naive or hurtful things. This filter normally keeps us cool, calm and well-informed. However, when we are bothered by something, we sometimes forget to use this filter.
We also tend to exaggerate things that bother us. For example, if a friend/colleague is late for a meeting, our self-talk is around “he/she is always late”. Or if your child/spouse drops something in the kitchen, “you are always breaking things!”
By blowing things out of proportion, we get bothered even more and often start believing the exaggerated version of things which isn’t really helpful.
Assuming the worst
Along with exaggeration, we also tend to assume the worst. There have been situations at work and home where we’ve gotten very upset with someone and then realising the other either wasn’t aware of what you assumed or had some other intention in mind. For example, when someone corrects us, we assume they want to put us down or insult us.
The question we can ask ourselves here is Why. If we are able to truly answer this question, we won’t be as bothered as before.
We’ve had situations where others have been very harsh with us, they’ve been rude and nasty. In the heat of moment, we get so worked up with what they’ve said to us. We need to understand that people don’t mean most of what they say when they are angry. Another thing that helps me is reverse empathy. Rather than putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, try to remember a time when you wore the same shoe.
For example if someone is frustrated and angry, go back to a time where you were the same. Why did I get so angry? What did others around me do or say?
When we go down this road, we start helping the other rather than getting worked up and aggravating the situation.
The bottom line is that we can’t let the behaviour of others steal our joy or stop us from being kind. But if you do, it’s your choice. Focus on being the best and happiest that you can be – that’s where your energy should go.
Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings and emotions.Will Smith
Please let me know in the comments below if you have any additional tips for not allowing other people’s emotions to affect you.