This is a lesson my mother attempted to teach me sense I was very young. When she told me to choose my battles she was telling me that I needed to decide what was worth fighting or arguing over. My dad never called it fighting he always called it a heated debate. No matter what you call it, it is still not edifying to yourself or the other people engaged in the discussion.
Something else I was told was “do not spend more than five minutes fuming over something that will not matter in the next five years. ” If it does not matter in the future do not worry about it. Something else to keep in mind is that you need to get to know yourself and how you react to things. This information is a vital key to figure out how to handle things. Here is an example, I know that I get really frustrated when I find out that the people I had asked to feed the family dogs for the morning or evening did not do it. Because I know this I will ask the person that was assigned it later on in the day if they actually fed these said dogs. Before I ask them I will converse with myself and decide that it is okay if they did not get to it and that maybe they had something urgent that came up and were not able to do it. My real life conversation with myself is a lot longer and it takes a lot more convincing than I am showing you but I kept it simple for you. Having these conversations with myself really do help me.
Another idea is to constantly think happy thoughts. Why you like the person? What could have gone wrong to prevent them from acting appropriately? How can I help them be better? These are questions that you can ask yourself to help you see things in a different perspective. Now am I expecting you to be able to walk away from this post and fully understand what I am saying? No, absolutely not. We are all still human and live in sin. Ask God in the morning during your prayer time for the strength, patience and understanding to conquer the day.
Other simple things you could do is remember to breath, constantly ask yourself questions, remove yourself from the situation temporarily with respect towards the other person, and count backwards. You might be asking “how can those things possibly help me?” Well, let me explain these suggestions.
Breath: Remember to breath. So many people get frustrated and angry that they either forget to breath all together or they are randomly holding there breath imagining that they are holding in there anger. (it doesn’t do what you think it does) Holding your breath makes you more upset because all you are concentrating on is your incredible dislike for the situation. So instead I suggest taking deep breaths while imagining letting go of your anger. Remember two wrongs do not make a right. Do not fight fire with fire. If you show kindness and respect to the person your frustrated with you can normally change the atmosphere of the situation.
Constantly ask questions: I do this so that I am constantly giving myself another perspective. As an example: you are frustrated with your partner/sibling/friend because they did not wash the dinner dishes Wednesday night and it was their turn, so you had to do it. When you think on the situation we want to ask these questions. What happened to make it where they were incapable of doing the dishes? Why were the dishes not done? Are they okay? Did something happen early that day or sometime else in the week? Always ask questions.
Remove yourself with respect towards the other person: Sometimes we need to tap out of a situation. This is something you will have to learn about yourself. You need to tap out before everything gets to heated. Let’s say you and your spouse are having an argument of when your child needs to go to bed. You are trying to listen and be understanding but all you can hear in your head is your reasoning and why you think you are right. You need to say something similar to this because we need to remove ourselves from the situation with respect towards the other person,”You know I really want to continue this conversation, but I am really frustrated with this whole situation, I just need a break and then we can continue this conversation.” Make yourself come back to the conversation after about 5 min. Do not wait till the next day. This coping skill is not for you to abuse and try to put your problems behind you. This coping skill is to help you teach yourself how to handle situations while still respecting the other persons space and thought process.
Count backwards: Counting backwards might sound silly, even for adults. Some people count backwards from 5 some from 15 and others from 30. I would not count backwards from a number bigger than 30 because then you are avoiding the situation. Counting backwards is a commitment because once you hit zero your act better be together. Counting backwards rewires your thought process, calms you down and makes you breath while focusing on one task and not eighty different tasks.
Remember this will all take practice and time. No one is perfect. These are all lessons we could all use in our daily life. You might be asking why I am teaching you to deal with your situations rather than how to avoid them. Well, I do not believe in avoiding. Avoiding situations cause unhealthy relationships because nothing is ever figured out and your constantly frustrated with someone. This post is to hopefully help you deal with your frustrations and difficulties.
Now use this knowledge for good and be great. I have faith in you.