Over the course of the past 2 years, I’ve noticed a change in myself and the way I feel towards the people around me. The younger version of myself was more abrupt, more confrontational and generally just fucking hard work. Although I still harbour some of these emotions, and have a tendency to speak my mind when I think it’s appropriate to do so, these traits have become diluted with age. One of the reasons for this being that I’ve learnt not to take things so personally.
Now I hate to point out the obvious, but the people around us massively affect our lives. Hardly groundbreaking news, I know, but the concept briefly crossed my mind and it sent my scatty brain into overdrive. We are all intertwined and our actions, no matter how small, have a knock on affect.
Of course other people’s behaviour affects our moods, whether it’s a friends good news that sends us into a tizzy of excitement or dealing with a prick that sends us into an anger filled rant. But I’m talking about something much deeper.
A few weeks ago I came home from work, I was tired, irritable and ready to unleash a rant on the working day I had just escaped. Mid bitch-fit it occurred to me that my anger and frustration was as a direct result of some of those around me. Their bad mood had damped my high spirits. How dare they have this affect on me? How dare they rile me up so much that I then come home stamping my feet and looking for blood? But that’s just it; they haven’t MADE me do anything at all. In life we cannot control how others feel or how they act in our presence. But we can control how we receive their behaviour, and I’ve decided that it’s not my problem.
No one really wakes up and decides they are going to be unpleasant to those around them just for the fun on it. Because it’s not fun. It’s draining. The likelihood is that it’s comes from a chain of unpleasantness, and that knock on affect we were talking about early just keeps repeating itself.
I cast my mind back to the things that had upset me over the past few years. All those pointless arguments and dramas that stemmed from being a hot head who did not allow myself anytime to mull over a situation. Had I merely taken a step back in those situations, given myself 10 minutes to cool down and take a rather, I would have realised that it’s better to turn the other cheek. Take the moral high ground and accept that arguing is a waste of energy and time.
I have two small beads of advice I would like to end with;
1. Don’t take it personally if someone throws some anger your way. I’m not saying that you should be a pushover, but try and rise above it. Ultimately, it’s going to be your day ruined if you dwell on it, so cut out the middleman and let it go.
2. Rather than lashing out at others, choose kindness and try and break the chain.