We tend to get angry over the little things — the way someone says something, the item they forgot, the clothes they left on the floor, the dirty dishes in the sink, the item they forgot to get in the grocery store, to name a few… The question is, why do the little things get to us? Why are they such a big deal? I think it is because the root of the real reason we are annoyed goes much deeper. Using our insight, intuition and reasoning, we can get to the heart of the matter — if we want to.
Let’s analyze that list above. What all of those annoyances have in common is that someone did not hear us or listen to us which means that they do not care. That translates into, “I’m not important enough, I am not worthy in their eyes, I am not special.” So what we do instead of facing these feelings is to get snappy in our tone or we get quiet and detach. Some of us get angry and scream.
The solution? Simple but not easy. First we have to get to the bottom of our feelings and admit how we really feel without making excuses. Then we have to find a way to share those feelings with the other person or persons. Words to begin with are, “When you do this, I feel…” There is no blame here. This is how you feel. Now if the other person gets defensive and angry, we can let them know that these are our feelings. If none of that works, I suggest professional help to work this through.
These small things build and one day they become so big, that we feel ready to explode and sometimes do. The goal here is to catch this before it escalates. We can do this. We may need help, but if we value our relationships and want to make them work, we need to address the deeper issues causing the annoyances.
Wanting to work things out, finding the right support, developing and following an action plan and faith are key ingredients to working through the “small” issues that have large emotions attached to them. It’s never too late when we believe there is hope, and when we make up our minds to give it our best shot.
Patricia Raskin, a pioneer in positive media for the past 25 years, is an award-winning producer, talk show host, media coach, speaker, author and weekly columnist. Her "Positive Living" radio program is in its tenth year on WTKF-107.3 and fourth year worldwide on VoiceAmerica.com. Learn the skills for "positive living" through her archived radio broadcasts and book, Pathfinding: Seven Principles for Positive Living. Attend her Life Enrichment Seminars at Pura Vida USA in Georgia and Pura Vida Spa in Costa Rica.