We’ve all had those moments when even the smallest things seem to be frustrating enough to cause a bad day. Perhaps the day started with a rude cashier, someone cutting you off in traffic, or by spilling coffee on that white shirt or blouse.
As I type this very article, I am interrupted every minute or so by the sounds of stomping from the family in the apartment above us.
Apparently, when these apartments were repaired after Hurricane Katrina, the contractors did not insulate well at all. As a result, we can hear almost everything that goes on upstairs. It’s hard not to get frustrated at the family itself.
Today, I’ll share with you a simple approach to stop fights, arguments, and frustrations before they begin. A secret I recently discovered in a fabulous book I’m reading. If implemented properly, this tip could potentially salvage relationships, return peace and happiness to your home, and help you become happier and less stressed.
The source of most anger and frustration
Have you ever given thought to just how arguments and fights begin? The majority of the time it all starts over something really petty. Here’s an example of a simple comment escalating in our own household.
I wish you’d learn to pick your clothes up off the floor
I will when you start cooking
I work on my feet all day long while you lay on the couch with the computer and the chihuahua and now you want me to cook every night!
Now, I feel insulted, she feels insulted, and the chihuahua is running for cover. If the argument is really good we might even start insulting each others’ mother.
So what’s the big secret to diffusing the situation before it gets carried away? The trick is not to worry about the unimportant things.
Don’t sweat the small stuff..
Undoubtedly, you’ve heard that phrase before. There are countless books with the same title. All meant to encourage you to be more positive and not to worry about the small things that make up a large amount of our anger and frustration.
I’ve only browsed through those books briefly, but I did find a similar answer to life’s frustrations in the book The Magic of Thinking Big by Dr. David Schwartz. He suggests the following technique to deal with anger, arguments, and frustrations:
before complaining or accusing or reprimanding someone or launching a counterattack in self-defense, ask yourself, “Is is really important?”
Whether it’s with a spouse, child, family member, stranger, or co-worker, the next time you feel like becoming angry, ask yourself, “Is is really important?” Chances are that it’s not and you’ll be able to forget about the frustration and move on. You’ll feel a newfound ownership over your emotions.
Try it and see. The next time your son fails to clean his room, that car cuts you off in traffic, or your spouse makes an inconsiderate comment, decide if it’s really worth getting angry about. I guarantee if you implement this technique you will eliminate most arguments and frustrations before they get out of hand.