Keep Your Peace

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Adorable little photo, isn’t it?!  I laughed out loud when I saw it, thinking about the many times I have said this to myself. Last week, at work and at home, my nerves were tested by people with odd requests and unique issues that created more work for me.

But as irritated as I was, and feeling stress as I do, with pressure in my chest and a headache in my temples, I realized I can put myself at risk physically by allowing myself to be so irritated.

Annoyance based upon what others say or do just hurts me. And it does seem to come down to what I allow.

You may have already sorted this out for yourself and, if so, I am impressed. I find it to be a revolving issue I must remind myself of from time to time.

If you really think about it, by becoming upset and irritated by what other people say or do, I allow an external force to control me. My mood, feelings, hopes and plans are left to what other people do or say. Chances are good that people will annoy me and if I let it happen, other people’s actions will determine my outlook and increase my level of stress. I am not in control.

Instead, imagine bringing the control back internal, maintaining our mood within our ourselves.

Here are some tips I have found helpful for remaining above the annoyance, to avoid allowing others to work your nerves:

  • Realize that the other person’s issue of concern is their most important thing for the moment. It does not need to be yours.
  • Tell yourself not to “take on” the other person’s energy about the issue. If he/she is angry about a situation, listen, but do not become angry. You don’t need to give away your energy to match his or hers.
  • Take frequent mental, physical, and emotional breaks throughout the day to collect your thoughts. I don’t mean go take 15 minutes in the break room; rather, just stop what you are doing, close your eyes or look out a window; breathe slowly and deeply. Do this for a minute or two, and then get back to work.
  • Make lists of your tasks and priorities, including the new ones that other people bring you, so that you can keep track and cross things off as you go. This takes the pressure off your memory and mental energy.

The fact is that people are going to work our nerves. And rather than asking God to keep the annoying people away, we get to control our own responses to them.

Do you have strategies to deal with annoyances? If so, please share!

Make it a great week!

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4 thoughts on “Keep Your Peace

  1. Great advice! I experienced some of this sort of thing at my last job. People call 911 for things you may never even think of and sometimes it can be frustrating when someone calls for something I may feel is small, while other bigger emergencies are going on. I’d tell myself, “Heather, be happy for them, that in this person’s world, this issue that may seem small to you is the biggest thing they have to deal with right now.” Your second bit of advice really is good advice for anyone functioning in a tough situation. If you are able to keep your cool and not escalate with the other person, the entire situation will likely be more productive with a more positive outcome.

  2. A good old saying “a lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part”! Words we should all live by!

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