“OH MY GOSH! Why won’t you just leave me alone! You see what I’m doing don’t you?”
I hear people lash out like this all the time and I am sure that you experience it as well. Sometimes, moments like these just roll off my back as if nothing happened, but in some cases, it slowly builds up and leads to high anxiety, in which I have to take myself away from that environment.
Many of the situations that I observed, in my opinion, were pretty small or pointless because I didn’t see how it even affected them. For a few years, I became aware of how lashing out at certain things affected me and the people around me so I started looking at how certain things flustered people.
I watched how adults would get upset with a child’s question. I watched how people would get frustrated and throw fits in traffic. I even noticed how people would get mad about a situation that didn’t even involve them and out of nowhere, it stood out completely.
It is because somebody or something wasn’t doing what they wanted. That is it. Just the simple fact that many people would want you to do what they would do in a situation is literally why so many people lash out about things. Noticing that is also why seeing it happen was affecting me because I wouldn’t have snapped in that same scenario. It’s because we are not getting what we want and it’s sad.
In this day and age, you would think that we would have come to a place of understanding but I feel that, with all the knowledge that is thrown at us and the constant need for instant gratification, it has actually taken us many steps backward. With access to social media and the ability to surround ourselves with like-minded individuals, it is easy to assume that things we want and do should be expected by everybody and everything.
Let me be the millionth to tell you that that is not the case. We are all individuals and all have different personalities. We all have different experiences and different thought processes. What some people do for fun, others stay away from with fear. While some people like to live in the fast lane, others like to slow things down and rather be safe than sorry. Some people will get road rage because somebody is driving too close to their car while the person driving too close is upset that the person in front is driving too slow. See how both scenarios are understandable depending on the person and their perspective.
What about the person who has a stack of papers to go through for work and gets pissed off at the dog who is constantly nudging at them wanting to play. They scream “Leave me alone. Don’t you see that I am busy!?” Why was the frustration there? Because the human mind wants something, not understanding that that dog doesn’t think the same way.
This seems like a big problem for a lot of us but I have a practice that can help people who can incorporate it into their life and are open-minded to understand that not everybody thinks like them. The practice is very simple but it’s not necessarily easy and may take a little time to practice.
If you are to the point that you want to lash out due to stress and frustration, I want you to ask yourself one question. “What do I want?”
“What do I want?”
It sounds foolish but try it out. Ask yourself “What do I want?”. Do you want the person in the left lane to drive faster? Do you want the child to have a more mature mindset? Do you want the dog to understand that you are stressed out from an email and not bother you? Asking yourself what you want will allow you the opportunity to sit back and look at the reality of situations. It allows you to understand that what you want may not be guaranteed but gives you a chance to find a way to accept things for what they are and refrain from having to feel the struggle of stress and frustration.
Doing so can bring you more peace and allow you to learn to love things for what they are. Many say that I handle situations well and they wish they can be as patient as me. I’m just as patient as I have always been, I just learned to control what I can and adapt to the things that I can’t. If I can’t control a person, place, or thing, I lift myself and relocate to somewhere else. If somebody is driving too slow in the fast lane, I simply change lanes until I can pass them.
If I am busy working and my dog is nudging me to play, I take a deep breath and appreciate that I have a beautiful animal that loves me and just wants to experience me. I pet him on his head, grab my work and migrate to another place.
Understand that we don’t always get what we want, but we don’t have to let it affect how we react to things. Be aware of when you start to feel frustration and stress and ask yourself, “What do I want?” If what you want can’t be changed, don’t let it affect you. Just adapt and find an alternative. Not everything has to be an argument. Not everything has to be a reason to be aggressive. Not everything has to be a moment that you have to huff and puff. Change what you can and find the peace and happiness of the life that you do have control of because that’s what you want.