This post is about the things we find ourselves getting too worked up about. Have you ever found yourself highly annoyed by somebody’s abundant typos even though you understand what they are saying? Have you ever wanted to slap somebody for being prissy? Has something unfortunate happened to you that felt like a mountain being dropped on you when it was really a mole hill that you tripped over? Chances are that you can say “Yes” to one of those questions or a similar question.
The answer is that these annoyances/stressors are triggers for you and your focus on these triggers causes them to seem worse than they are. Perhaps prissy people anger you because you were raised doing farm work and you couldn’t be prissy on the farm. Logically you know, if you think about it, that a woman pouting at the cafe’ because she just broke a nail has no effect on any farm work. So does that prissiness annoy you because you always wanted to be more “girly” but it was not a sensible option for you? Perhaps it annoys you because you were taught that such people are useless and you feel entitled to only be around people who you believe are useful. Perhaps your reasoning is something different from those reasons. Whatever reasoning is behind the trigger, it’s wise to figure that out. Once you realize why you are reacting illogically, you can better try to correct that response.
It is important to correct our overly negative responses because they poorly affect our lives. Lets say you stub your toe tomorrow morning. It hurts. It is logical to scream out “Fu*k!” and hop around on one leg for a minute. It is not logical to say to yourself “Oh great, this is going to be one of THOSE days!” You should know that you stubbing your toe does not mean the universe is plotting against you for that day. More than likely you were just not being very graceful because you were groggy and/or in a hurry. Yet, your day does continue to suck because you have deemed that it would. You accidentally left your lunch in the fridge because you were feeling frazzled. You keep thinking “Now I’m not going to have any f*cking lunch!” and are being snappy at your office mates because you are in a bad mood. An office mate snaps back at you because you triggered her, so now you think “Now I have to deal with her sh*t?!”. A friend invites you to go out for lunch with her on your lunch break, but you’ve stressed yourself so much that your stomach feels upset so you decline getting lunch when you were so upset earlier about not having any lunch. By the end of the work day you start feeling lightheaded because you have not eaten. You trip and fall down the steps while getting off the bus because of that. You hobble home with your scraped knees and spend the rest of the day brooding instead of enjoying relaxation. If you would have stopped for a moment to check yourself after cussing and hopping around on one leg for a minute, you could have noted that you need to pay attention to your surroundings and then just went about your day as usual.
It comes naturally for many of us to sulk. “Poor me. I have to deal with these idiots. Nobody understands me. Why does everybody suck? Maybe I suck. Oh crap, I am a shitty human being. Why do people put up with me. I just want to stay shut up in my room.” It’s a self-destructive setting that we have to be conscious of so that we can counteract it. Overreacting isn’t something to beat yourself up about. It is simply a product of being triggered. When it happens, allow yourself a moment to feel those emotions. Recognize where those emotions are truly coming from, and then move on. Some people have chemical imbalances and many need medication to help correct their thinking. If that is the case for you, don’t be ashamed to get help. Kind people with common sense won’t think any less of you for needing professional help.
You might be wondering how to move on after you realize where those negative emotions are coming from. That varies on the situation. Going back to the example of being angered by prissy people, I will give a possible solution to feeling that way out of jealousy that you were not allowed to be that way: Allow yourself to be prissy. Even if you still work on a farm, that doesn’t mean you can’t put on a cute dress and have afternoon tea sometimes. By taking this step, you treat yourself to something you have secretly longed for while simultaneously taking a trigger our of your life.
Blessed be, y’all.