From everyday rudeness to outright prejudice, as frustrating as these things are, we cannot let our experience of them trigger us to the point that we lose ourselves by how we respond.
So, let's look at what drives these impulses and how we can improve our responses for our own future betterment and current peace of mind.
You probably hear people explain away bad behavior all the time with the “They triggered me” excuse. It's clear that they believe they had no control over their response.
As well, we see videos of midair meltdowns in which people resort to violence and wonder why they can't control themselves.
What you need to understand and take away from other people's behaviors is that their behaviors are nothing more than manifestations of their inner world.
What can you do, instead of pointing your finger and morally distancing yourself from them?
Recognize the importance of healing ourselves
Consider the importance of giving others grace
With these two takeaways, and by holding "Twitter judgment," we can start to shift how we respond to our own everyday ish.
Let's look at a few stressful situations we've all had to deal with to understand why, instead of being sanctimonious about airplane meltdowns, we can learn from them. To understand why we should let these incidences serve as reminders that we need to take care of our own healing. And when we are further along in our own personal development, to give grace to others when we can.
From traffic to poor weather, do everyday inconveniences like these cause you stress? If it does, this indicates you have an impulse problem.
In most cases, this is due to immaturity or arrogance. The operative word here is "usually," as only you can say what drives your behavior.
A good way to makeover your impulsivity is to learn to go with the flow.
Even though I was trying to live by this advice, I didn't always have the emotional maturity to live by it most of the time. Now I do and it is thanks to a lesson I learned on a rainy day in Greece with my then-husband.
We had made all these sightseeing plans that the rain made impossible to enjoy.
As was his way, my then-husband became pissed and grumpy about our rained-out plans. I saw it as an opportunity to shop, and because I had read that the rain in Greece doesn't usually last very long, I wasn't too bothered.
We saw a pub and when he suggested we wait out the rain there, I thought, great! And so we did. Some five hours later, and probably hours after the rain had stopped, we were still in the pub because we had made friends with a couple of locals.
This meeting turned out to be the best part of our entire trip! As locals, they were able to tell us where to go, when, what sights to skip, and the ones on our list that were closed at the time--something we might not have found out until we made the trek there.
Because this lesson has stayed with me, I now rarely get worked up by delays, because I know they can lead to something I might have otherwise missed.
Even sitting in a car in traffic or getting lost, can have positive outcomes if we don't lose our cool.
The next time you’re lost, inconvenienced by nature, or something outside your control, roll with it. Who knows what you might find?
Also, give yourself enough time to get to your destination, because yes, you might still lose your sh*t if you're running late.
Dwelling on the negative
The ruminating mind likes to dwell — that's its nature. Most people dwell on a specific traumatic episode from their past.
Know this: the dwelling mind is hungry for justice or to be heard.
1. Give voice to your trauma. This can be done through a blog, writing a book, or other public forums. It can also be done by helping and advocating for others who experienced trauma. And of course, it can be done privately by working with a therapist.
2. Many people have found Ayahuasca (a ceremony involving psychoactive tea) to be helpful as it can release repressed emotions and memories.
3. Have a daily gratitude habit. Integrating this into a comprehensive healing process can be very beneficial for you.
Tip: At the end of your day as you’re giving thanks, include that negative experience from your past in the list of things you're grateful for. We can release the emotional burden of painful experiences by being grateful for them, and our minds can be relieved of their dominance over us as well.
Holding onto old ideas
Religious institutions and cultures are often slower to evolve than people. Just take a look at the catholic church and its views on homosexuality and abortion. While religious leaders haven't publicly changed their views, many people, including many Catholics, have relaxed their attitudes regarding these issues.
People have also been slow to change their views on race and racism. As we're now learning, racism can lead to Complex PTSD.
It may not always be the case, but when faced with a combative person or someone who has what are obvious distancing behaviors (rudeness, etc.), I speculate that maybe, they are unknowingly suffering from C-PTSD. This (usually) allows me to extend grace to them either by keeping it moving, or being patient if I can't walk away.
Re-examine those issues that you feel guilt and shame about and question whether YOU should be the one carrying around those emotions.
And when it comes to racism, one of the most effective treatments I find, is having or building a supportive community.
The trauma caused by old ideas will take time to work through because they are woven into our subconscious. However, tools such as self-hypnosis can help. But you don't need to be fully healed to make the mental shift that the angriest person in your life, may also be the most damaged.
Showing them grace and having this new perspective doesn't mean I think you should stay in emotionally abusive situations.
The purpose of this post is merely to help you understand that in fact, you do have a choice in how you respond "at the moment" of conflict.
Just reading this post won't help you, unless you apply what is appropriate for you, or find something in this post to inspire you to do your work.
As you work with us over at Vurb Wellness, you will learn by doing wellness and showing up for yourself consistently, you can shift how you respond to all of these triggers and protect your peace.