People, eh? They sometimes seem dead set on pushing every button we have and winding us up to a fury. Life would be a lot, lot simpler if it wasn’t for people. Am I right?
Thing is, much as the solution may be to get them to change, it’s hard to change yourself and it is impossible to alter one thing about another person.
Seriously. Say it after me: IM-POSS-I-BLE!
Did you ever manage it, really? Really, really, really?
It’s exhausting to even try, frankly. Don’t.
So, here are some creative challenges to try when people make you so mad you could spit tacks.
1) Interview yourself about why their freakiness has pushed your buttons
Next time somebody loudly proclaims an opposing viewpoint, or acts like a *insert un-PC expletive here*, or is just themselves (too fat, too thin, too clever, too loud, annoying, whatever) and it makes you feel cross, try this:
Step back. Resist the urge to ask them to be quiet or to criticise them – instead, have a little sit down with what it stirred up in you. Get your journal out, if you can and ask yourself:
Was it personal?
Why or why not?
What exactly was it that made you mad?
Were you just mad that they were being themselves?
Why was that so unsettling?
Might they have done something *you* do, and don’t like doing?
There may be some interesting answers to those questions – ask them! Have fun with it!
2) Embrace your part of being upset by somebody’s actions or words
Next time somebody upsets you, check whether it was what they did that made you feel riled, or how you responded to it. Maybe (probably) it was both.
Did you feel ashamed that you didn’t hold your ground?
Did you feel bad that you didn’t react truthfully?
How do you feel towards yourself, for being there in the first place to experience their behaviour?
How could you take back this power in the future?
This doesn’t excuse anyone’s nastiness, but it does let you stay in your own space with it.
3) Let your irritation get so huge it makes you smile – I love this one!
Use drama, darling.
Next time somebody just really irritates you, I challenge you to get really, really, comically irritated.
You may want to do this in private for full effect. Photographing it or doing it in the mirror can add to the fun.
Ham it up, amdram stylee. Milk it.
Go deep into being as annoyed as you can be. Growl, stomp, rage and throw things.
Lie on your back and scream, or slump forward and flop your arms about going ‘THIS IS SOOOO UNFAIR!’
You may (will) end up laughing out loud at your irritation, with an overwhelming sense of relief and joy.
These are just experiments.
Don’t let them flip you out or push your buttons.
Try them if they feel fun to try, then share with me how they went for you!
PS – We are all just experimenting, all the time.