Annoying People, Teachers of Coping Skills

Annoying people, we all have to deal with them at some point. A lot of us have to deal with them on a regular basis. For many years they have been the bane of my existence, causing me a great deal of aggravation and stress. Just now on the way to the train I was surrounded by people I find annoying.

As I slowly counted out loud to stay calm, usually I sing ‘Soft Kitty,’ I was reminded of a quote from the Dalai Lama. The quote is ‘in the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.’ This made me realize people, and things, we find annoying can be our best teachers of coping skills.

Instead of viewing these encounters as a negative thing, we should look at them as a great chance to practice and learn new coping skills. Now, I would not recommend actively seeking these situations out, but when they arise use them to your advantage.

After each opportunity, we can go back and look at how the skills we used worked. Were they successful for us or did they not help much? We can then determine if the skill we used was the best choice for the situation or maybe we should have used something else. If it was the right one, but did not have the effect we hoped for we can figure out what changes we need to make for it to be more successful next time.

Even if we did not use the best skill for the situation, we still have learned from the experience. We have learned a skill that does not work. This way we now know what not to use.

If we used the right skill, but it was not totally successful, we know we are on the right track. We also know we need to practice the skill more in a safe, non-confrontational place. We know that once we master the skill we know it will help in similar scenarios.

If we used the right skill and have mastered it, we now have a way to cope with a situation that we find annoying and stressful. We Now, we can react in a healthier manner.

Posted: July 30th, 2012 under Thoughts on Mental Health.

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