How (not) to deal with annoyance

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Goes without saying but I still say: inevitably you will get annoyed and angry.

As much I’d love you to have your way, the things are not going to always work for you.

People have different preferences, goals and desires. Their habits and communication styles vary. Some are sensitive, others need things to be told loud and clear or else they assume that we all agree and everyone’s happy.

Annoyed you shall be.

Ryan Holiday wrote in Daily Stoic newsletter that when something bothers you, you either say something or you let go.

Say something 

or

let go.

That is, say something to the right person.

When a thing annoys you, you need to make a decision then and there.

That decision is rather simple: you find the courage, use the right amount of diplomacy and go to say something (constructive) to that person whose actions bother you.

If you don’t want to do that, for any reason, then there is only one wise thing to do. Let it go.

Miserable option #1

Going to whine about it to someone else. Do not complain to someone about another persons misdeeds.

Miserable option #2

Staying angry and keeping that anger silently in your head is also not a good option. That is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die. You can steam and boil inside, live in a great suffering, but the offender who trespassed you knows nothing about it.

It is my anger, after all so how could it be anything else than just?

Miserable option #3

Lashing out in anger. Venting your feelings without a constructive element in your criticism. Being a drama-queen. Making threats. Escalating.

And then it is time for the winner…

The next unproductive response is definitely my favourite.

Miserable option #4

The most miserable one.

The shittiest of the myriad shitty options you have to make life as shitty as it can be.

The “Good” Old passive-aggressive resistance.

It is like saying something without saying. It is is like standing up for yourself while still not having the balls to take the discomfort that really standing up for yourself would require.

It is secretly revenging someone by sabotaging everyone (yourself included) in the circle of your influence. It is an intentional act of shrinking your own possibilities to a positive development. It is a indulgence in your own negative emotions at the expense of the service to the community you are a part of.

When you do this, you are an insignificant and meaningless, but at the same time, a truly toxic part of whatever it is you are a part of.

I am very happy that I never use any of these miserable options. I rest assured that you will steer clear of them as well. Sure.

Do not bottle it up

There sometimes seems to be no words that describe it. It is just a mute feeling of rage.

Sometimes, I would know the exact words but I do not want to say them. I do not want to say. I refuse. It is a choice to not do it. Maybe I do not want to have that conversation. I do not feel strong enough to face the counterarguments or the consequences. I wish I could postpone it and let it all fade away on its own good time.

But it does not really work quite like that.

There might be also another thing. Maybe I doubt or even know that what I am concerned is so stupid that I can only feast on that rage inside my head but
it would be quite embarrassing to let others know about it. That is the truth that I do not want to admit even to myself when I am angry.

The anger and resentment feels right when it is unchallenged, inside my head. But when it collides with different views that come from other people, the certainty crumbles. That is why I shut myself down and close the doors of  communication. It is to avoid the self-examination, and the examination by others, of the validity of these thoughts.

It is easy to win as long as you are the only person in the argument. Victory!

Summary

Say something or let go.

If you choose to take action

  • Talk to the right person.
  • Use diplomacy.
  • Do all you can to find a constructive solution every time.
  • Offer help rather than judgement and harsh criticism.

If you choose not to take action

  • Do not complain to anyone about someone else.
  • Do not continue to boil inside.
  • Do not use low-intensity resistance. Only bitches do that.
  • Let it be.
  • You do not revenge anyone by being angry inside your own stupid head.

And remember that most of the time it is better to be happy than to be right.

Inspiration

Daily Stoic

A complaint-free world

8 Examples of passive aggressive behaviour

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