I have been feeling a lot of irritation lately. People just aren’t behaving the way I want them to. I chuckle as I write this, but it is true. The rant going on in my head goes something like this:
- “Why can’t people just be nice?”
- “Why does everyone have to be so rude?”
- “My god is he/she selfish!”
- “I can’t believe he/she did that!”
- “Why can’t they just do this instead?”
The list goes on, but you get the idea.
It’s All On You Baby!
I have a friend who reminds me quite often that it’s all on me. Nothing anyone does or says is their responsibility to fix, nothing, ever. As absurd as that might sound, he is right. I get myself into real trouble when I start focusing on other people’s good or bad actions (according to me). When I get into that loop, I am easily infuriated by someone’s else’s behavior, and then I start obsessing over it, and that only hurts me. They are choosing how they want to be, and I can decide who I want to be, in reaction to that.
It all boils down to me wanting them to behave differently, and this is one of my major stumbling blocks and growing pains. This scenario happens in my business life when a client infringes upon my boundaries or does something I don’t like. It also happens in my personal life when no one around me is running their lives the way I think they should.
The irony is that I HATE being told what to do, being controlled, judged or criticized for any of my actions. Yet, here I am doing the same thing to everyone around me.
After a few days of this, I finally realized that I am only hurting myself, by this type of thinking.
I Want Everyone To Be Grateful
Recently I took care of someone close to me after they had surgery. I took them into my home and did a lot for them for about a month. It was hard and stressful, but I felt good being able to help; I felt like it was the right thing to do. The other day that same person made some hurtful comments that made me feel unappreciated and frankly angry. I wanted them to be more grateful for all I had done and was continuing to do.
Again, it’s not up to them to change, but it is up to me on how I want to handle it. For about 24 hours I felt outraged, and then I used some EFT to clear that so that I could at least let it go and not continue to feel the sting of those insensitive comments.
It was good to remind myself; I did not help this person so they would feel grateful. I helped them because that is the kind of person I want to be; a good person who is there for others no matter what.
I Want Everyone To Be Good Parents
During this stressful time of juggling my business, my home and taking care of someone with medical issues, I also had to deal with some unpleasant behaviors from my patient’s parents.
Instead of being supportive, helpful and understanding (which I thought they should be) they did some pretty selfish things which frustrated me. I wish I could say I just accepted these people as they are and let it go. But I did not, I allowed it to get to me and that made me feel even worse. Then, to top it all off, I built up a lot of anger and resentment towards them on my friend’s behalf.
Blame Is So Much Easier Than Taking Responsibility
My reactions were not helpful or productive. What I wish I had done was meditate more, use my EFT skills to release those negative emotions and focus on me and my life rather than on them and their behavior.
When I focus on what I can improve about myself and my life, it often resolves these issues with other people seamlessly without any action on my part, or they just become unimportant and fade away.
It is not always easy to stay kind, loving and compassionate all the time to everyone. It is so much easier to revert to that judgmental, controlling, irritated mode I have been living in for the past week. But that is not who I want to be, so I am trying to find a better way.
Gratitude Helps a Lot!
Whenever I turn my thoughts to gratitude it helps tremendously. My amazingly good health for example. I never want to forget how far I have come and how bad things were. By taking a moment to thank God/The Universe for my healing and good health, it puts me into a much better place mentally.
I like to take note when I have a particularly busy day of running around and doing a lot of physical stuff (like taking care of my friend). I see how effortlessly my body handles it and continues to thrive instead of struggle. That alone is cause for elation and excitement. It’s those moments I want to bask in the joy of gratitude and let the ugliness of this past week just float away.
Last Stop Guilt and Punishment
The last thing I want to mention is that even with all the irritation I was feeling, I was even more upset with myself for feeling and thinking that way. Outwardly I was smiling and letting it all go, but inside I was building up a nice, big, stinking pile of resentment. All that resentment started causing me to have minor body aches, and I knew right away what I had done.
Once I realized that I was being judgmental and trying to control everyone, I shifted into a quick case of guilt and then started punishing myself. I am thankful that I was able to notice it and then clear it before going down that road too far.
Let Go of The Need to Control Other People
Wanting to control others is something we all struggle with. I have seen the raw frustration in other people’s eyes as they grapple with their desperate need to control others and it tears them apart. It bothers me a lot when I am around it and I think it’s because I see some of that in myself. I never want to be like that, and so I am careful to notice when I start heading there and switch lanes quickly.
I have found it to be quite pointless even to try to help or influence anyone unless they specifically ask for it; people do what they want to do regardless of what you think, feel or say. It so much nicer to just let them be them, and stay out of their way. For me, this is the way to peace and sanity.
Regain Your Focus For a Happier Life
There are times when I can detach and just let everyone be, and I am unaffected, and there are other times, like last week where their every movement, decision and comment drives me up a wall.
So starting off this week, my new vision statement will be about asking for help when I feel the need to control others. I want to stop in that moment, meditate, ask for help and healing and let it all go. Then I quickly need to put the focus back on me where it belongs!