Have you ever been told that you’re “too sensitive?” Or maybe you feel your emotions so strongly sometimes that it feels like you simply have no “control” over them.
What about those days where every. little. thing. just seems to irk the life out of you?
Let me assure you, you’re not alone.
You know those times when the small, itty bitty annoyances of life are really getting to ya, truly driving you for a loop, that’s good information for you to collect.
Maybe you notice you’re getting more and more frustrated with your significant other.
Maybe it’s that one co-worker. Did she seriously just look at you like that?!
Maybe you’re thinking about things that already happened, faced with worry and fear…What about that awkward conversation? Did you offend someone by sharing your opinion? Could you have kept your cool a bit longer?
Do you notice that you’re constantly replying conversations and scenarios in your head over and over again almost ad nauseam?
You just can’t seem to let it go. It matters. You’re annoyed, hurt, sad or frustrated.
“How could ____ do/say that?!”
It’s normal to have emotions, reactions, questions, self doubt and all of that goodness creep in. It’s what we do with it, and how we manage it that matters.
When you notice that it’s REALLY hard to let things go and you simply can’t seem to shrug your shoulders and get on with your life, it might be a good idea to first think about these factors:
- Frequency – How often are you feeling overcome by irritation, overwhelm, criticism (or perceived criticism)?
- Intensity – What happens when you experience it? How does it feel? Where in your body do you feel it?
- Validity – Take a pause and try to look at the situation objectively. This isn’t to say that your experience is invalid. It’s valid but is there more context that another POV might help you connect to?
Okay so now that we’re getting curious, observing and acknowledging that our responses are valid, I’m going to go out a limb here and guess that it still feels VERY uncomfortable.
A lot of these situations that irk you are probably not ones that you can walk away from, or you have some inner work to do in order to build up to walking away.
Here are three golden nuggets to keep with you to help you roll with the flow a bit more:
- It’s not about you and you can’t control other people.
A lot of times when someone interacts with us, responds to us poorly, makes a harsh judgement, is deceitful and hurtful – it’s not about YOU. You’ll find so much freedom when you take the weight of people pleasing the whole entire world off of your dang shoulders.
As humans, we’re all so unique. We each come with our own set of experiences and learnings that make us into who we are today, and allow us to move forward, or not. Each person’s growth is totally up to them.
A lot of us do this thing where we want people to understand us, to grow and evolve at the same rate as we are, and the truth is, that’s an individual process.
The best thing you can do? Focus on you. Show up as the best version of yourself as much as you can. Put your blinders on when you need to. Walk away when it makes sense to. You are a strong, worthy individual human being. If you feel that you’ve done everything in your power to be appropriately compassionate, thoughtful and whatever else you hold as a personal value, then it’s time to let the responsibility go.
Their actions and reactions are not. about. you.
- Will this bother me 30 days from now?
I started asking myself this question during debacles in MIDDLE SCHOOL. Seriously, if there was drama in my friend group, or if I didn’t get a part in a play I wanted (yep, drama geek at your service over here!!), I often reverted back to this question: Will this still be bothering me 30 days from now?
Even when the answer is YES, it gives me a new way to understand my feelings or responses. When the answer is NO, it is like writing a permission slip to myself to let shit go and move on with my life.
- Fill your life with MORE of the things that you love.
This one is a bit of a build on self awareness and self trust. Sometimes you can feel really tweaked by others when your own life doesn’t necessarily meet your wants, needs or personal values. Take this opportunity to take a look at what you can do to help your life better align with your values, SO THAT you can let go of placing responsibility on other’s to bring you happiness. You can walk away from unhealthy and unhelpful situations with a sense of freedom and empowerment.
It may mean making tough choices. It may mean changing your mind. It may mean creating space for yourself when the people around you don’t understand. Trust yourself enough to do it anyway. Fill your life with YOUR good things!
I totally see how these concepts can be difficult to implement. As we get older, our challenges often become more and more complex. I’d encourage you to try them on anyway.
There’s so much we can do to learn how to better navigate tricky and stressful situations. If you’re looking to add more tools to your toolbox, check out a Millennial’s Guide to Stress + Anxiety or this blog post about squashing self doubt.