At this point in what we will kindly describe as a challenging year, you may be starting to lose your cool — if you haven’t already.
As we continue to ride the pandemic roller coaster of case numbers, infection rates, and associated social distancing restrictions, frustration can quickly get the best of us and make us grouchy.
Maybe even more than grouchy. Maybe a little hot under the collar. Maybe a bit out of control.
Worse yet, mounting health concerns, economic anxiety, and isolation frustrations often lower our tolerance level for interacting with others around us.
This can present itself to us when we bark at the cashier for being too slow or when we snipe at someone for not maintaining the recommended six-foot social distance in the take-out line.
These constrictions and changes are frustrating for everyone. Nobody wants this. We don’t have much control as we comply and do our part to follow the disease prevention guidelines, doing our best to adapt as they shift from week to week.
We do have control, however, over how we behave. We control our attitude and, most importantly, how we treat others. Tapping into compassion to soothe our frustrations can make all the difference to us, as well as those around us.
Coaxing our compassionate side to show itself is like rubbing cooling aloe on a bad sunburn. Inviting compassion into your heart and mind can reduce the irritation and sting of aggravating circumstances. It’s the chill on heated tempers and prickly irritation we all could use more of, nowadays.
Instead of leaning into your personal frustrations, invite compassion for others by considering what they are feeling and going through.
And don’t assume people are intentionally trying to anger you.
Other people have different perspectives, fears, and beliefs. When you’re wearing your mask and you see someone is not, try not to rush to judgment. Have empathy for the possibility of their differing point of view (which, by the way, could simply be forgetfulness).
Heaven knows I’ve had to go back to the car for my forgotten mask on more than one occasion.
Intention is everything. So, let’s intentionally set out to be kind, helpful, and caring to the people who cross our paths. Let’s lead with more compassion and less irritation as we move through the continued challenges we face.
Remember, we are truly all in this together. The nicer we are to each other, the less frustrating we will all feel.