“Lonely I’m so lonely
I have nobody
To call my own”
Lyric excerpt from ‘Lonely’ by Akon
For years, I used to get angry with people very often and very quickly (I also used to have a very long tail, spiky arms and feet but that is a story for another day).
Growing up, I discovered some of the fancy names for this syndrome: quick-tempered, fiery-one, touchy, tetchy, peppery (yeah right!), peevish… You get the picture. Now that I know better, I call it what it is,
Being unreasonably critical! (Not so fancy now, is it?)
I used to take offense and keep it like some treasure to be cherished and I will take it everywhere with me. Sadly, there was always something about everyone that I just could not tolerate and I let them know just how intolerable they were. So, as you can imagine my treasure chest of offense was quite full and heavy. I was loaded!
I must confess, there were certain ‘benefits’ I enjoyed from carrying around my treasure chest of offense:
- People knew how to act around me – by staying away from me.
- I was in control of my little world – which comprised of me, Bud, our two imaginary pets, Rex and Popo and a handful of people equipped with unimaginable and extreme doses of long-suffering.
- Everything was perfect! I was lonely.
- I had fewer friends than the number of hairs on a bald person.
It’s amazing how often we are offended by others or something caused by others that I wonder why no one has thought to generate some form of energy from it. For instance, someone is late to an appointment with you. It doesn’t matter that the weather was bad and due to this, the bus/train/flight arrived late. It’s THEIR fault! Or take the guy at the till who absent-mindedly scanned your purchases and didn’t give you a smile after you’ve just bought groceries worth £20 (that’s right!). No “thank you”! he deserves to be brought to the attention of the store manager for negligence and poor customer service. Never mind he might be having a hard time with his wife/girlfriend, studies, parents, money or something else. It’s HIS fault. Or that lady in church who seems to be nice and friendly with everyone else but always gives you the cold shoulder and walks past you each time she sees you at church. AT CHURCH! That’s right! SHE is evil and needs to be cast out into the wild. Mmhmm! Or the old lady next door with the grumpy face and grumpier dog. Uhuh! It’s HER fault her dog is grumpy.
Just like most diseases, there’s an antidote for being unreasonably critical (or if you still like fancy, we’ll go with peevish). It is called the GET-OFF-YOUR-HIGH-HORSE pill sold for free in stores worldwide!
You see, I have come to the realization that the reason I or anyone else (we are legion I tell you) took or is taking offence so often and so quickly is simply because I/we thought or think of ourselves too much or think too much of ourselves (stay with me, we are getting somewhere).
Learning (with a capital L) and being prepared to let things go is the antivirus against being quick-tempered, at least for me. People get on people’s nerves and people hurt people. It’s a human spec. If you’ve ever hurt someone else and/or you’ve been hurt by someone then, CONGRATULATIONS! You are earth compliant and the malware called perfect hasn’t infected your basic code (end of geek talk).
So now, am I waltzing on the cloud of peace, serenity and constant love for all humanity and never taking offense? Girl Please! I have been erupting since before volcanoes could breathe. Cut me some slack, I am a work in progress.
I think the message here is, cut people some slack, learn to let some things go and enjoy the benefits that follow. Another option is to acquire a wealth of offense in your treasure chest and be rich all by your lonely self.
The choice is yours.