I was seriously p’ed off last week. So many things got my goat. People, admin, my house, the power company, even my yoga teacher. If you were in my world last week I was probably annoyed at you too. I even managed to work myself into some road rage. People cutting me off normally doesn’t bother me. I tend to think that their poor driving has nothing to do with me. I don’t take it personally. Not this week. I pushed aggressively on my horn, wound the down the window, gave them my thoughts, shook my head, did the works.
I was preparing a few ‘difficult conversations’ with people so I could work through each situation. After all, I need to be true to my word – ‘speak it out so you don’t act it out’ so that I don’t let my bad vibe permeate all over others.
Being annoyed is when we rouse impatience or anger which gets us into a state of irritation. No one wins. You walk around uptight and frustrated and people in your world notice it.
Then I had lunch with one of my dearest mates, Annie Layton. I was debriefing on my frustrating week. As I was talking through all the scenarios that had built up my demeanour I heard myself say, after the 3rd or 4th time; “I’m so annoyed… it really annoyed me… I just feel so p’ed off”. Then I caught the common denominator. Me, myself and I.
Could it be that my lens of seeing things was clouded with annoyance? So I drive home processing this. I ask myself; If I took away the ‘Board of Director – Annoyance’ that was living in my head, would I see things differently? And the answer was a very clear. YEP!
So I literally say out loud. ‘Annoyance. I see you. And I’m not subscribing. Move on!’
Getting sucked into being annoyed is a fruitless journey that doesn’t end well.
I am so glad I did not have those conversations I was planning to. One still needs to be had but how I approach it will be different.
It will be a conversation, not an accusation.
How many conversations do you enter into with the wrong frame of mind? How many conversations do you prepare when your lens or ‘Board of Director’ that lives in your head is off kilter?
What should one do when these or other unhelpful feelings rear their ugly head? I like the 4-step approach that Toni Bernhard suggests in her book, ‘How to Wake Up’ but have amended it slightly.
- Recognise them – You can’t change what you can’t see so be bold enough to see your unhelpful feelings and thoughts. It’s not who you are. Just what you are experiencing.
- Investigate them – Look into where these feelings are coming from. Are they really true? Could there be another perspective?
- Own it – It’s so cool and grown up when people own their reactions rather than blame others for how they feel. People don’t make you angry. You choose that reaction. People don’t make you upset. It’s how we process things. That’s our stuff.
- Take action – This looks different every time. It could be to call out the emotion that’s not serving you, it could be a conversation to change your perspective. It could be journaling. Whatever works.
Check yourself today. What are you subscribing to that’s not serving you or those around you? And then do it tomorrow, and the next day and the next…