Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Okay wise guy...how do I stop getting annoyed?

"How do I stop getting Annoyed?" 
Ah yes, this old nugget.


You sure you want this answer? Okay cool.  
You can't.
But don't stop reading here. 
You see, everybody gets pissed off, even your Mum. 
And your "never said a bad word", kind old Grandma. And your cat. Your dog. Your guinea pig and even your pet rock. 
Yup, and even the Dalai Lama himself gets pissed off. 
No, I'm not kidding. 
The difference is some show it, others don't. There are varying degrees between both ends of the spectrum. However, it is the wise ones who deal with it.
Dealing with it means to take action, do something to address whatever the cause of your @#%!# might be. 
For big issues, seek counselling. You must do something positive rather than doing nothing, getting therapy is positive. Ignoring it hoping your feelings and stresses/inability to cope will just magically go away, is not.
For the day to day annoyances and things that pop up from time to time that drive you up the grumpy wall, the fact is, you're nowhere near as helpless as you think when the angry monster comes for a visit. 
Point 1
It is 100% your decision as to whether or not you feed your angry monster, or just get him to chill the hell out. It is a choice. It is YOUR choice.
YOU CAN CHOOSE TO GO FROM THIS
TO THIS
TO THIS
AND FINALLY, TO THIS...


And no, this isn't ever about burying the rage so that it comes out later in therapy... That'd just be dumb, plus probably unhealthy. So what am I on about? 
It all starts with you, oh "you already know this" wise one. 
It is time to face up and look yourself in the mirror and admit that when you're pissed off and annoyed, you can choose to relax instead.
But the "how?" if the "just choose not to be" isn't enough? 
Read Point 2.
Point 2: 
Do you ever stop and take a good look
at why you're angry?
Most people don't, they're too charged up to be able to consider it, but don't knock yourself. You're not alone. You probably do it AFTERWARD, just not DURING. 
Do you know that old saying; "Hindsight is always 20/20"?. This means that anything that has already happened, you know about. Hindsight. Easy.
To change things for you, you have to mentally alter this old saying to; 
"Now sight is always 20/20" 
This means you will know about what is happening now, rather than when it's too late to do anything about it.
So now the How you do this is a lot more simple than you would think, but it does take practice. 
So, when you are getting angry and frustrated, stop and ask yourself a few quick, simple candid questions.
For a few examples, you could try;
i) "Should I really be upset about this?"
Use this when you have just read something annoying, been told something in a meeting or have just got off a disturbing phone call. This question is not advocating apathy. This is about deciding if being angry is appropriate or not. Sometimes it is.
If you're answering "yes, I should be", to make sure you are being reasonable about this topic, you need to list why, honestly. Pro's, Con's and Other. Once you're done, read it a couple of times. 
Often listing why you're upset shows you something you might not have been expecting, like maybe it's not that big of a deal after all.  Or perhaps that a lot of your concerns are already being or will be being, sorted. It's all about perspective, something anger takes away from you. 
ii) You could list what the positives of a stressful situation might be. Try "What is the BEST thing that can happen here?" If you can't find anything, you could then change your approach to; 
"What's the BEST thing that I can make happen here?" 
You see where this is going?

Point 3:
Combat Anger with Positivity
Life is about coming up with solutions – not dwelling on current problems or creating more problems because of it. Anger falls into the category of negativity – and negativity breeds. 
You're in charge of how you are. All power to you, you own you, not anyone else.
All anger can be re-routed into looking for solutions that caused the anger in the first place.
Who do you think is better able to deal with a problem - an angry person or a calm one?

Yeah. The answer is so logical, right? You already knew the answer too, didn't you.

So why aren't you practicing this on yourself?

To further enhance the positivity angle with some examples;
iii)  If the reason you are upset is because of a change to something you've gotten really used to – maybe at work, a change of process etc - ask yourself what could this change actually mean to you? 
Could it bring new opportunities? 
Could it bring more stability for you?
Is it a smarter way, could it reduce your workload? 
Is it a case of short-term pain (work harder for now) for a long-term gain (but work smarter later)? 
90% of business decisions made have a set of goals in mind – and no, it's often not just about money. 
Once you have a few answers to those questions, you can try linking them up - i.e. 
"As I can only do my best, more work could mean need more workers, which could mean more work security which could mean more opportunities which could mean new positions which could mean more money which could mean more opportunities for me/for my family etc"

iv) Another job based one - If you are feeling a lot of pressure or stress from your workload – ask your supervisors what they think. Communicate and be honest with yourself and your boss – it pays to admit if you are struggling with something, no matter how long you've been there, whether you think you should know it or not – it is generally a much better policy to tell someone so they can help you. Most managers and supervisors are actually human beings - not all, but a lot. 
With the right approach from you, they are there to help you perform, to support you, to help you constantly improve yourself and for the business, to help you grow professionally and for you to take up new opportunities where applicable.

v) Long-term stresses, things been going on for a while - try honestly comparing how things were for you a few hours ago, a few days ago, a few months or years ago – has anything changed? If it has, was it positive? What else has changed? Do you still have the same issues you had back then? Change is a constant - everything is by its nature, so everything has to change.
If it's just as bad, have you attempted to resolve it as best you can? 
With a clear, calm head?

Point 4:
Stop beating yourself up and find the truth
I've often found when managing others that unrealistic set time frames, pressures and the stresses you can feel, can quite often be self-imposed. I've seen times when people have been set a task and they try to finish it earlier, or because they are just learning, they suddenly think that the rest of the team is hating on them because they’re slower.
Beating yourself up, setting yourself up to fail or undermining your own self-confidence is unnecessary. But talking about how you feel is. My best advice is talk to someone you trust, sooner rather than later.
Check things - do you 100% know what the expectation is of you? Is it the same as the person who asked you to do something? Have you communicated that the time frame was unrealistic? That you have x, y and z on your plate and now you've been asked to re-do A through S.
Communicate where you’re at and find out the truth.
Likewise, are you sure that person hates you? Are you sure that person meant what they said “that way”? Is this information about what someone else said, coming from a reliable source? If a tree falls in the forest, does it make a sound? Are you sure the tree fell in the first place?
In the middle of stressful situations when you are getting annoyed, it always pays to double check the information you have.

Point 5:
Be passionate, realistic and chill.
This point speaks for itself, 'nuff said.
About your life you can still be passionate, be realistic and still be chilled. It takes some doing but once you're in the habit, those dark angry days slowly become less frequent.

Like I said in the beginning, you can never stop getting annoyed, but you can choose how long you're going to stay that way.

And I don't know about you, but being pissy-pants all day sure as hell doesn't a good, fun day make.

Choose wisely.