This topic has come up a lot lately and I’m not sure why. It really got me thinking because I keep referring back to the same book I read years ago, many times over. This book helps you transform complex human issues into simple common sense. Maybe this topic keeps coming up because this is life, and life can be hard no matter who you are.
HOW DO YOU GET OVER THINGS SO QUICKLY? DON’T YOU EVER GET MAD?
I’m shocked when people ask me this and most of the time I’m laughing inside when they do. People who REALLY know me, know I get… (I like to call it PASSIONATE) angry about certain things. I think the difference is, I’m direct about the things that upset me. It’s said and done, and then everyone moves on. And honestly, most things DON’T make me angry because I’ve come to the conclusion we’re all a little weird/crazy. I may not understand your “weird” and you may not understand my “weird.” But YOUR weird has absolutely nothing to do with me.
I think where things tend to go all haywire is when we play the passive aggressive game or we don’t have the courage to say what’s on our mind. Things are bottled up and then next thing you know, you’re in a bigger mess than you had intended and people are exploding.
For Example: Taking things personally.
Again, don’t get me wrong. I have feelings. Too many feelings, actually. And, to make matters worse, I’m an Empath. As a defensive mechanism, I made sure everyone KNEW I was NOT an empath because I didn’t want anyone to know I cared as much as I did. I just didn’t want to get hurt.
I used to take everything personally. I mean, everything! It was draining. I’m not sure if things changed because I got older (although you see grown adults acting foolish every day), because I’ve had people hurt me, or because I’ve read a book called, “The Four Agreements” so many times over the last 15 years it sinks in a little more each time I read it.
A huge part of studying hormones consists of understanding trauma. My professional PSA: What someone perceives as “trauma” or a “traumatic event” may not be perceived as “trauma” to another. You can say, “No, you can’t have that candy before dinner,” to two identical twins and one can perceive that as a “traumatic event.” So much goes into that. These traumatic experiences have a HUGE affect on your hormones. Your hormones affect everything. It’s A HUGE CIRCLE that explains A LOT when you’re dealing with people. And as a professional, I really should be sitting here typing inspiring, uplifting, advice to help everyone grow and manage their hormones and traumatic experiences. But I’m not this time. This is for those who are on the receiving end of things. And I’m not referring to people who have experienced traumatic events as being, “weird or crazy.” NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. I’M SAYING WE’RE ALL WEIRD AND CRAZY. By the time you hit 30 you’ve probably been through something you consider traumatic. These events help shape you and your actions towards others, say a lot about what’s brewing inside you and how you see yourself. Now, with that being said, we’re all human and we’re all crazy. Once you realize that, you stop taking everything so personally.
I just cannot say this enough. PEOPLE ARE WEIRD. Yes, you read that right. You CANNOT make sense of everything! I’m an over thinker and this has torn me apart SO many times. Until I realized, plain and simple, PEOPLE ARE WEIRD! There are in fact reasons why we’re all weird and because the reasons are far too complex to explain or make sense of, I loosely use the word “weird” and “crazy.” This isn’t to offend anyone. The fact that I have to type that out, is partly why I’m writing this. But there’s my disclaimer for those of you who need one.
Here’s the annoying part: You may think your weird is the same kind of weird as someone else’s weird. So you carry on being weird together. And then BAM their weird gets a little intense. Guess what? You never know what people are dealing with in their life and people react in a way we sometimes just don’t understand. People are hurt, people are grieving, people are physically sick, emotionally sick, drained, exhausted, etc.
The moment you start taking someone else’s action’s PERSONALLY, is the moment they win. Do you ever sit back and watch someone go crazy and you’re like “I’m out.” That’s OK! You can “tap out” of “weird” anytime if it means you get to keep your own peace and sanity.
You don’t have to take their actions personally. We all handle things differently. There are SO MANY things to consider when looking at your actions and the actions of others. Why are people this way? Why are THEY taking something so personal? Why do we perceive things so differently? How were they raised? Where were they raised? The list goes on. Now, tell me, WHAT DO ANY OF THESE THINGS HAVE TO DO WITH YOU…?
BINGO! It doesn’t!
We are ALL so different. Right down to manners. For instance, I was raised TO ALWAYS say, “Thank you,” when someone holds the door open for me. Now, to me, it’s common sense to have manners. I used to be completely floored when I would witness others not saying, “thank you” when the door was held for them! HOW DARE THEY!? WHO DO THEY THINK THEY ARE?! Complete devastation! How many people DON’T say “thank you,” when you hold the door for them? SO MANY! This reminds me of my son’s basketball games at the high school. My husband and I are always SO taken back by the amount of adults and teenagers who walk right through and don’t say thank you. They appear to be very, “rude.” Or are they…? Maybe manners don’t mean anything to them. Maybe no one taught them. What’s considered “rude” to us, may not be considered “rude” to them. Therefore, we CAN’T take it personal. Do we expect EVERYONE to act the way we WAN’T them to act? Wouldn’t that be nice? It’s not about us.
Why do people react differently? Again, you could ask a million questions, and still NOT be able to figure it out. There’s just TOO much depth to that question. Every experience shapes us. That doesn’t mean we don’t have consequences for our actions or we get a free pass to treat people awful, but it explains a lot when you think about how people treat you.
Someone brought up “RAGE CLEANING” to me the other day. I almost died laughing. I have my own little ticks. Before I leave on a trip, my house MUST be clean. I’m pretty sure my grandmother shaped me that way with her rage cleaning while raising me. If the house isn’t clean and everyone’s packed up and ready to go and just sitting around, I’m totally set off. I’m not even sure WHY that’s important to me, but it is. I’ve tried to let it go. Is it worth getting angry about? Apparently, because I rage clean like no other before I ever go out of town. Ask my husband, he usually sits in the driveway irritated while waiting for me to finish.
Some people think I’m too strict with my children and some think I’m too leaniant. Some people think I NEVER get mad. I’m sure if you asked them, they would totally disagree! I just save my crazy for the things that matter to me. For instance, I can’t bring myself to flip out over messy rooms. As long as there isn’t anything growing inside their rooms, I’ll just shut the door. What sets me off? Disrespect. People are always shocked at how respectful my kid’s are. Granted, they’re human and have “tried” me, but they don’t try often. The amazing part? I don’t have to go crazy! They actually respect me because they’ve been taught how to be decent human beings. Respect is HUGE for me. I admit, you would see my “crazy” come out if my child was rude to an adult. Whether it be an umpire, a teacher, another parent, a coach, etc. “CRAZY” would come out because they know better. And when I say, “crazy” I don’t mean loud and obnoxious but I would take care of the situation immediatately. Why do I take children respecting adults SO seriously? I dont know. Maybe I was raised that way? When my kids were little we would sit in the car before attending any get together and go over how they’re expected to behave. With a couple of them being 15 and 18, I sometimes forget and still do it. I’m sure they’re sick of hearing me, but they’re probably using their manners when they’re out. Who knows (they could be the worst kids and be good at faking it in front of me….?).
This is hilarious and kind of embarrassing: I used to get SO upset at sporting events because adults are rude to the umpires! I mean, I get it! There are some BAD calls! Your adrenaline is up, I GET IT! I just cant justify name calling and screaming at the umpires much less allow your children to do the same. If its a bad call, its a bad call. You can’t disrespect the person and throw a fit because you didn’t get your way? I would be the worst coach because everyone who threw a fit on the court/field would be out. I used to get SO BENT OUT OF SHAPE while watching these games! It actually stressed me out. My son was 10 years old playing on a baseball team. He was up to bat and didn’t like the call that was made. He shrugged his shoulders and threw his arms up at the umpire in disgust and I lost it. I snatched him out of the game. He didn’t get yelled at but I lectured him and told him he couldn’t play if he was going to be disresctful to an adult. Strike one, you’re done. For some reason, stuff like that infuriates me. It would still infuriate me if it were MY child but I don’t get upset when I see other kids do it. Not my business. When adults start calling the umpires names, I just consider they’ve got something else bothering them.
Now, you see other people who don’t think twice when their children are rude to adults. Maybe they don’t consider it rude? Maybe they just can’t be bothered to correct them? It takes way more heartache and energy to correct your children than it does to look the other way. Maybe they don’t perceive it as “rude.” Maybe the child isn’t being rude but has a disability? Maybe the child has more problems than a child should have? Maybe there’s something else going on. But, lets just say it’s a parent who just doesn’t consider respect to be important. Now, these children turn into adults and literally don’t know any better. So, when an adult is “rude” to us, how do we take it PERSONALLY? Their actions may literally have NOTHING to do with you. It’s a reflection of themselves, their emotional maturity, home life, their way of life, their normal, the list goes on. They may have something going on inside of themselves that has zero to do with you and YET, you’re the angry one now. They carry on with their life, and you’re the one crying about it. How does this make any sense?
WE CHOOSE TO REACT DIFFERENTLY
The other day my 15 year old was dusting off the fridge after helping my husband with some renovations. Apparently, something went wrong. Our brand new, beautiful, shiny fridge is now covered in thousands of scratches. This fridge was a splurge for us because we figured we would have it for a long time so it was worth the investment. And there it was, a thousand scratches all over it. When we realized they were scratches that couldn’t be buffed out, I was irritated inside. I’m human and it looks like someone took a razor blade to my fridge! I wasn’t angry, more so panicky. Then my husband calmly said, “Well, I didn’t like that fridge anyway. I accidentally ordered the wrong one and it doesn’t have the right amount of drawers I wanted. We’ll just live with it for a couple of years and then get a new one.” I couldn’t help but laugh! It was his way of saying, “accidents happen!.” Am I really going to be ANGRY that my son was helping us and damaged the fridge on accident? Was his INTENT to ruin our new fridge? OF COURSE NOT! No matter how difficult it is (AND IT’S DIFFICULT!!!) you have to look at the intent behind someone’s actions! You can then see a more accurate perception of what happened. And even then, we all perceive things SO differently.
I’m never going to say mental, verbal, or physical abuse should be excused. That’s not the kind of actions I’m talking about. Even rude, bad behavior shouldn’t be excused, in my opinion. You don’t have to take it personally, but you also don’t need to put up with it. Boundaries are amazing. I’m not trying to be funny here, but depending on the level of “weird,” somethings can be tolerated and then other times, when people show me their “weird” I tap out immediately. Have you ever heard that saying, “Not my Circus, not my clowns?”
WHAT MAKES YOU SEE RED?
Being human, we all have our breaking point. Usually when someone’s reacting, excuse my language, or “losing their shit,” it’s because they have other personal issues built up. Think about it, “WHO HAS ENOUGH POWER TO MAKE YOU EXPLODE?” Who? No one. Who can control someone else’s emotions? I would love that super power! No one controls our response except for…us.
This isn’t to say we don’t all have our own unique “ticks.” But those “ticks” are deep routed and have developed over time. Do you ever hit a nerve with someone and you have no idea why? Have you experienced someone losing their mind over something you perceive as “silly?” Again, not about you. We call that, “butt hurt” in my house. Sometimes we have to stop and ask ourselves why we’re getting so “butt hurt” over something. Hit a nerve?
Hurt people, hurt people. We are a mess as a society. We have people dealing with trauma every day and then expect them to walk around without a chip on their shoulder. It’s incredibly sad. But guess what? It’s not about you. I’m sure you have your own issues you’re dealing with. Work on those. Don’t give energy to the crazy! Next time around you might be the crazy! So work on not being the crazy, instead of reacting to the crazy.
Everyone’s emotions are valid. And we can’t all control our emotions. We should, but we don’t. You can learn to pick and choose what’s worth it to you. Why do you care SO MUCH? If someone offends you, or responds differently than you expected, WHY DO YOU CARE? Do you live with this person? Are they causing you complete misery? Are they physically hurting you? No? Then let crazy be crazy! Miserable people reflect what’s going on inside. When do you ever see a fulfilled, genuinely happy person causing problems? They don’t. They’re probably too busy living their life.
Here’s my VERY UNPROFESSIONAL SOLUTION. This is MY solution. Not me telling you to do this. But this is how I manage my peace:
There have been times my heart has been hurt badly. And every time I’ve allowed myself to feel pain and take it personal, it had to do with someone I LOVED and I felt betrayed or hurt. Sometimes it HAS been worth putting energy into and other times it was best to walk away. I think we often confuse aquantances with friends. Even family. Sometimes family can be your worst enemy. Ever wonder why? Because you expect more. Do you ever get that hurt by a stranger? We have expectations in our mind that others dont meet. And then we’re hurt. It’s a losing situation. Again, we take it personal. I used to feel so much guilt because I can easily cut people off. Now, I consider it a gift. I’m gifting myself peace.
THE RANDOM CRAZIES:
Ok, I know we can all relate. If you act like this hasn’t ever happened to you, just wait, or you’re lying.
Have you ever had someone say something about you that wasn’t true? Whether you know the person or not. Or, have you ever had someone come out of left field and go crazy on you while you’re trying to figure out what you did wrong? From my experience, this has happened from strangers I don’t know or passive aggressive people. At first you’re shocked, taken aback, possibly over thinking it and trying to make sense out of it.
I’ve been guilty of it. I haven’t lost sleep about these things, but I’ve tried to make sense of it. I would replay my every action and wonder what could have possibly made someone say something or react the way they did. I hate that I even gave it a second thought but I did. And then you wake up. Let crazy be crazy. As long as you can sleep with a clear conscious, what do you care? We have too many different personalities, views, opinions, etc to figure each other out. When someone loses their shit on you, it’s NEVER about you. Once you realize that, you are set free! People choose to be miserable, gossipy, hot tempered, offended, dramatic, etc. Take a step back and THINK. If it doesn’t make sense to you, let it go.
Side Note: Taking everything personal and being miserable makes you look a little “rough.” Healthy, youthful skin is a system. You can’t walk around caring about what everyone thinks and not expect to look drained and rough. People will FIND ANYTHING to be angry about when they’re hurting inside and most people ARE walking around hurt inside. I did it! When I had to watch my grandfather suffer from cancer, I was on edge. I didn’t want to be around anyone who irritated me in the slightest because my emotions were so all over the place, I felt like I had a ZERO BS tolerance and I was sure that I would lose it. So I backed off from a lot of things. But I took EVERYTHING very personal. If someone looked at me wrong, I’d burst into tears because I felt like I was losing the one person who absolutely adored me. Was that about the other person? No. I was hurting inside.
I’ve had to read the book, “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom, ” numerous times to keep myself in check. I’ve recommended it to several people and each person who has read it has said it CLICKED! It’s NOT the most well written book and it’s such an easy read, you almost feel like you’re in elementary school again. However, it’s clear. Maybe he wanted to write the book so everyone would understand it. Maybe he was repetitive because he wanted it to sink in. Regardless, the book makes you reconsider the amount of energy you put into certain situations. It’s just just not about you, so let crazy be crazy and go find your peace!