Ordinarily, I like to imagine my level of patience is comparable amongst the composed Thailand monks. However, as of lately, that seems to be furthest from the truth.
Recently, I was told I have a hard time being told what to do, and that I also do not like to be wrong. But then again, who really does?
A situation arose at work, a slight miscommunication mixed with high strung emotions and a clash of personalities.
It all started when I proceeded to get yelled at by a coworker in front of other customers. A) I am not a fan of being yelled at to begin with, it hurts my feelers and B) Do not disrespect me in front of other people, if you need to have a chat with me, pull me aside and talk to me in private opposed to exploding and making a scene.
I responded the most immature way humanly imaginable, being a smart ass and asking what she would like me to do to make her heart content, and that this encounter with her has seemed to be a repetitive trend as of recently.
I reacted childishly, reacting defensively and quite honestly, a bit snappy. I was being a hypocrite. If I didn’t want to be disrespected, why was I reacting in the same way in return? With hot tears stacking behind my eyes and heat rushing up my neck to my cheeks, I was furious. Without going into detail of the situation, it was a not a work situation that should have escalated the way it did.
Zero to 100 real quick
She ran to the back to speak to the manager about my behavior, saying that I was being argumentative and was talking too much while working…
My question is; how can I implement a pause to my frustration and anger, collect myself and be mindful opposed to being reactive.
Notice; strong feeling, feelings come and go. Neither good or bad feelings are permanent.
Both my coworker and I were both frustrated and angry at each other. Excluding the miscommunication and no matter how petty the argument was, anger was still profoundly prominent.
Anger is a completely normal human emotion, it’s healthy to feel the emotion, but the way you react to it before it becomes destructive and problematic is 100% up to you.
I found helpful strategies on my favorite psychology website American Psychology Association (yes, nerdy… I know).
- Relaxation: Breathe deeply from your diaphragm, repeat a calming word such as “relax” and imagine a relaxing experience, practicing daily.
- *Cognitive Restructuring: This one is my favorite. It means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to swear and curse, and when you get mad, it’s easy for your thinking to become overly dramatic and exaggerated. Tell yourself, “it’s frustrating, and it’s understandable that I’m upset about it, but it’s not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow.” Ultimately… Logic defeats anger. Because even justified anger can become easily irrational.
- Problem Solving: Sometimes frustrations come from personal issues going on outside of work or relationships, causing other areas of your life to suffer. Once you realize that these problems are existing in your mind, it becomes easier to compartmentalize what you’re frustrated about. Make a plan and track your progress.
- Better Communication: This one is huge. Human language is made to help make the world go round. As mentioned before, it’s easy to let frustration get the best of you and lead you to jump to conclusions that are not necessarily accurate. I was frustrated that my coworker started yelling at me in front of other people, and she was frustrated because the things she wanted to get done at work felt stuck on her shoulders. I was working on another project and we both were under the impression that no one was helping each other out. It’s natural to get defensive, and that’s exactly how I reacted. Leading to more lashing out from my coworker and more emotions escaping my feisty mouth. This may require breathing space and a lot of patient questioning, but this part is vital in solving arguments.
- Using Humor: This one has to be my favorite. I am pretty awkward when it comes to expressing my feelings to others, especially if it hovers around frustration or anger, so I tend to joke more than anything instead of admitting my tribulations. One way to use humor is to imagine the person of interest who is frustrating you as exactly how you think about them. If you think of them as a dirt bag, imagine a bag of dirt when you see them to help make yourself laugh. The more imagery you can conjure, the more you can help yourself relax and realize that life doesn’t always have to be so stressful. And lastly, do not fall into the trap of being overly sarcastic or harsh because that is another form of unhealthy anger.
- Changing your environment: Sometimes giving yourself a break from the place you work, your house, your car, etc, can feel repetitive and can get old real quick. Getting yourself out of your environment and into a new one can help ease your mind and give you some personal time to readjust. Even if it’s for 10-15 minutes, each second can be therapeutic in these situations.
To get more information or read more on this, go to Controlling Anger to visit their website.
So, instead of getting like this:
Imagine yourself somewhere like this
Mind over matter always.
Maybe it’s not other humans, but the way you handle yourself in these difficult situations.
Give yourself a break too, know that you have these emotions for a reason and recognize them. Use them to help you, not to be used against you.
The more you practice mindfulness, the easier it will be to be the “watcher” of your thoughts, rather than be your thoughts.
Lastly, I’ve posted this one before, but this video will never get old for me and has helped me each time I’ve watched it.
Ultimately, as Eleanor stated, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Here’s to communication and peaceful interactions