I have a difficult time with people who are jerks. It puts me in a foul mood, which affects my spirit and physical well being. In the end the jerks are living life just fine and I'm the one sitting in a corner burning mad. Since there are a lot of jerks out there one can be in a corner full of rage many times in their life. We can try to avoid this by telling people not to be jerks, pray that they won't be jerks or just run from jerks. Yet we aren't always that lucky.
So ten gained pounds, hair shedding, high blood pressure later, I am slowly but surely coming to the realization that jerks are people too. People who may have a different set of values and who I unfairly put certain expectations on with the hope that they think just like I do. Which is pure foolishness.
Instead, I am, as part of the new year- new me thang, focusing on what I can do to not let the jerks get to me. Is it mean to back stab, name call, treat people unfairly or rudely? Yes. But are people purely one sided evil? I refuse to think so. Every bully or mean girl has a good side or a hurt side prompting them to act out. Every harassing boss has a stressor that you may not know about (perhaps their own harassing boss). So I have decided to follow these steps I have gathered from various sources to reduce my anger at so-called jerks and live a more emotionally healthy life. This is no easy task but one worth it:
- Walk it out- studies show that stress and anger can be reduced with just a ten minute walk. I like exercise, I can walk.
- Think of the flip side- this is my down fall. I am quick to think the negative of someone's motives. Those negatives may exist but why not think about another reason for an action being taken. Did they really bark at you because they hate you or did they yell because they just received some stressful news? Thinking higher of people may not change the situation but it will give you less heart burn.
- Stop binge thinking- I can think about an incident so intensely and for so long that I can't get anything else done, including sleep. I read that it might be helpful to reserve thinking about an upsetting thing to only thirty minutes. Maybe have a set time, say 730pm. So if this thought creeps up at 9am shut it down and remind yourself you can think about it at 730.
- Always think of another point of view and try to come to an agreement. If someone does or says something you don't like try to see the situation from their point of view, it might tone down the heat of your anger. Also try to find something in the other point that you do agree on and capitalize on it.
- Focus on other people's problems. When you feel like wallowing in self pity, help someone else out. It might put things in perspective for you and your problems might actually go away.
- Listen to music. If all else fails, drown out the jerk with some music. Make your environment peaceful and remove yourself from the negative source. If you can't escape maybe have a mantra running in your head. I watched RuPaul's Drag Race and one of the contestants, while the queens were being critiqued by the judges, would whisper "water off a ducks back". She always displayed a positive attitude and she won!
- Write a list of things you want to accomplish. Fill up your schedule with things you like to do and goals you want fulfill. Too much down time gives you too much time to focus on the negatives. You want better things to do. Also if these negative events have no baring on whether you can reach you goal they aren't worth your energy fussing about.