Letter No 46 - The irritant is in me

There are some days where every little thing, every little action irritate us.

Going for a jog early morning and a heap of garbage lying around the area. You are bang in the middle of a busy day and the phone won’t stop ringing with spam calls.An event coming up and things going out place. A presentation to be prepared and group members not being responsive.

These events might happen everyday, and some days you may take them in your stride. But one of these days they'll irritate you like it’s all piled up together.

I’ve realised that most of the time, for me, the days that I explode, it’s not because all is not working on the outside, but something is bothering me on the inside.

On a regular day, someone might use a tone on you but it won’t bother you as much, but on a day that you’ve been feeling everything is going wrong the tone spikes up something in you, your blood boils and you question how could this person even speak to you that way.

It’s irritating, it’s frustrating, it’s makes you go through a low. You wonder why is everything going downhill. When friends ask us what is the matter, we can’t help but complain about everything that went wrong and everyone who did us wrong. We complain.


"The undesirable effects we complaint about are the result of a conflict - a conflict between the parties in case of a relationship and an internal conflict incase of individuals. Once I am properly able to verbalise the core conflict, I too expose the underlying assumptions and try to guide them to realise that there are ways to replace those assumptions." - excerpt from "The Choice" by one of my 'heavenly mentors' who guides and directs my thoughts and decisions - Prof Eliyahu M.Goldratt.

The bottom line being, we assume and we create scenarios in our mind. We get triggered when we don't totally have the control on our own reactions. We feel hurt, annoyed and irritated because we feel a loss of control. We end up saying or doing something that we regret later. We are not ourselves in those moments.


Don't react. Respond.The word response comes from the Latin "to pledge, to promise"

Your response to a situation that pissed you off, is a promise you make - to yourself and to the world. It is a weight you are adding on your own shoulders. You must live up to it. If you don't, the weight of the promise will always bear down upon you.Suddenly response feels like such a big deal, isn’t it?


It takes time to alter how we respond to situations that trigger us. What might help are simple, practices to get there, someday.

Here’s one :

Take a piece of paper and write

  • What all went wrong today?
  • Who were the people involved?
  • What did they say?

Get done with the blame.

Now write:

  • From what I know about this person, do I feel they do this intentionally?
  • How did I respond when their actions triggered me?
  • What about my response I did not like?
  • What is it that really bothered me?
  • What within me changed when the situation happened?

Once you do this, you’ll discover something about yourself maybe you didn’t know or maybe you knew and it’ll help you accept it better.

This is painful, because no longer you can solely put the blame on others and external factors. Now you’ll look within and understand what within you needs some soothing, and the comfort and soothe will also come from within you. Finds space of comfort that resides in you, to help you be aware and not feel attacked the next time a situation doesn’t go as expected.

This, will take time. Meanwhile, feel what you’re feeling and let what’s happening, happen. But don’t hold on to it, don’t get stuck with it.

Generally a thing cannot freeze if it’s moving. So move. Keep moving.