Dealing With Anger and Frustration

Understanding the other person

Doesn’t it just piss you off when someone’s decision or actions come in the way of your plans? I was in this situation not too long ago. At first, I wanted to attack and give the person a piece of my mind, until….

“I’m so sorry to inform you that the girl presently renting the apartment has just been informed by her company that she will have to stay in Colombia for two more months. Unfortunately, the apartment is no longer available for you to move in this weekend. I apologize for any inconvenience, but, I know that you will be able to extend your stay at your current apartment. You may come to pick up your deposit any time.”

“WHAT THE HELL!!! Is this guy for REAL” were  the first words that came out of my mouth as I read his email. I was furious and frustrated. During my stay in Colombia, I had planned to live in two different neighborhoods. I was five days away from moving into an apartment in a new neighborhood. One where I had gone to meet the owner, left him a deposit and signed a receipt.

I was about to start typing my response. Tell him that once an agreement has been taken, a deposit given with a signed receipt, it needs to be respected. Unfortunately, he would have to tell the other girl that the apartment has already been rented.

I decided to make myself a cup of coffee, sit outside on my terrace and think about the exact words to write back to him to really let him have it. It was the best thing I could have done.

Taking Time for a Breather and Reflect

As I sipped my coffee, I started admiring the beautiful view with all the mountains around me. I asked myself, “why am I really upset?” Turns out, I was just looking forward to moving to a new location and meet new people. I had taken this whole thing personally, like he purposely was taking what I wanted away from me. Basically, I was focusing on what he “did wrong” that created this situation. I felt like I was no longer in control.

Taking Responsibility

I looked around me again, I thought, what a beautiful country! Everything I was looking forward to, I can still do, but, in a different way. There is still so much I have not explored, Rio Clara, Santa Fe, El Penon de Guatape. It didn’t matter where I lived, I can still visit these places with many opportunities to meet new people. In other words, I took responsibility on the actions I can take for creating my own situation instead of blaming him for it and expecting him to change his ways.

I have been in South America for almost a year, every country has its own culture and a different way of doing things. Sometimes we forget that not everyone has the same beliefs as we do. It is amazing how much you discover about yourself when you take the time to remind yourself of this. It opens your mind to different options other than just staying bitter and frustrated.

Understanding the Other Person

I thought about the decision he had taken. I placed myself in his shoes with his beliefs. The girl had been living there for several months working on a project for her company. Five days prior to her date of departure, she was told to extend her stay. Five days was kind of short notice to look for another apartment. I on the other hand, would just have to advise the owner of my current apartment that I would stay longer. This man was compassionate to the girl’s situation, knowing that I would not be left stranded. Then I thought about the times I have been in a similar situation as this man. The decisions I took had probably left someone feeling hurt, even though I based them on the best interest of everyone involved.

I felt a warmth and happiness fill my heart. Not only was I no longer angry, I saw this man as a wonderful person.

My response:

No need to apologize. I completely understand, you are a wonderful person to have taken a decision based on helping someone who needed it most:) I will come by tomorrow afternoon for my deposit.

What do you think? Has someone’s decision or action over a particular situation left you felling frustrated or angry? What if you take a few moments to really reflect and ask yourself “why are you truly frustrated?” Put yourself in the other person’s shoes, let yourself escape and free your mind of your own personal beliefs, what would be your answer? What actions can you take for creating your own situation?

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This entry was posted in Cleansing Your Beliefs, Power to Let Go and tagged , , .

7 Responses to Dealing With Anger and Frustration

  1. valerie says:

    You write really well Antonia, love the tone and the stories, you really make me stop and think 🙂 Keep up the great work!

  2. michele delatour says:

    Well this came right on time for me too Antonia ! I love to get practical steps that can lead you out a nasty pit; so after reading this and all its comments, I have learned that in these situations, is important to not ignore the negativity that rises up within us; this uneasy feeling wants to speak something for ‘us to grow’…. then after accepting and respecting our right to feel angry, and understanding its purpose, it is easier to think on how to relate ( to express our disatisfaction or needs) to the other party in an way that this party can remain open. By taking the courage to take each of those previous steps, it gives us at the end a very satisfying feeling; feeling, and . If I knew that anger was normal, acceptable, way before, I would have not waisted my time thinking I was a mean-selfish person, and move quicker into the resolution process …(;

    • Antonia says:

      Sweet Michele:) I love the way you have summarized this in your special touch. Absolutely, anger is a normal feeling that wants to speak to us so that we can grow from each situation, we just need to be able to recognize it and allow our heart to take over:) Michele, it is never to late, we are where we are. Sometimes we just need to experience so much to be all we can be:)

  3. Sylvain says:

    That reminds me of an exprience I had 5 years ago, almost to the exact date.

    Just before leaving for Australia, I had bought a new laptop. I had chosen a big brand name thinking I’d be safe from harm and if there was a problem, I could count on a world-wide network to fix it.

    Once I arrived in Sydney, the first thing I did was to figure out how the electricity was working… it was my first time outside North-America and the concept of placing my key in a switch to turn electricity on was quite unsual for me. But I finally figured it out. After I yelled a big “Yes! I got electricity!”, I went on and plugged in my laptop to catch up after some emails and reassured people I arrived safely after 24 hours of non-stop travel.

    I plugged the laptop… and the power supply fried. I was quite upset… but not as much as I was tired… so I tried a few times… and then hit the bed. When I woke up at 3 AM, I tried a few more times… no result. I then took off to explore a bit the city beginning by the casino (one of the few things opened 24/7). I didn’t play a penny, just browsed the place (and discovered very weird toilets).

    I then returned to the hotel, stopping by an Internet cafe and contacting Toshiba Canada. They told me they couldn’t help me since I was not in Canada. No problem, I contacted Toshiba Australia… and they couldn’t help me either because I had a Canadian model. Being a resourceful guy I went to electronics stores and tried to find a generic power supply… but none would match the electric requirements of my laptop. After wasting 4 or 5 hours, I gave up. And I carried around my 5-lbs Toshiba paperweight for 3 weeks all across the globe. I did check up again when I was in New Caledonia… but no luck there either. So, I had to go to Internet cafes to check emails and burn my photos on CDs.

    When I got home, I spent $40 to get a new power supply and got rid of the computer… and decided I would never buy from Toshiba ever again.

    But there’s a silver lining to that whole story. When I was in the Internet cafe in Alice Springs, someone came sitting in the next station while I was bored and waiting for pictures to burn. I did glance a bit over his screen… and saw he was reading stuff in French. I started a quick chat… and the guy was Sherbrooke… about 100 km from home. And there our paths were crossing on the other side of the globe. If I had my working laptop, I wouldn’t have had this funny travel story to tell.

    So, I did keep my cool (the fact I was so tired played a role in that), found a way around… and earned a good travel story.

    • Antonia says:

      Hi Sylvain

      LOL LOL…so true, sometimes our most frustrating moments can turn into some of the best humorous moments if we just step back and be in the moment. Thank you for your contribution in reminding us of this:)

  4. Peggy says:

    Thank you Antonia!!! This post was hugely meaningful for me today. For the first time in my life, today I chose to take a sick day because I needed it – not because I was in the hospital or literally unable to get out of bed but because my body was screaming for a time out. Mentally & physically I needed to step back. Normally I would push through it and force myself through thinking that all these things needed to be done and the had to be done today. I’d be frustrated and ticked off because the demands were so high and I couldn’t meet them without working day and likely half way through the night…..But I’m stepping back and thinking the demands are not going to change – what needs to change is my response. I can work 10-14 hours a day to meet them or I can choose to address them in a meaningful way in the time I have at work, set a reasonable path and raise my hand to say this is how I need to work……and if that path is not aligned with the role then maybe we’re not a good match :). The point is it’s my choice to accept and determine my response – just as you’ve indicated. I’m choosing to live differently – balanced and addressing my needs, my families needs and my career needs – feels like someone just lifted a 1000lb weight from my shoulders. Now I don’t have to feel anxious, frustrated, or discouraged with others……I make choices based on the balance I need thereby taking ownership and control back for my life….Thank you for helping me articulate this – I was having trouble working through some of the tough decisions I’ve been making lately and now I’m starting to feel at peace with them.

    All the best,

    • Antonia says:

      Hi Peggy,

      WOW, thank you for sharing something that we have all done and gone through! So true, the expectations we set on ourselves bring on our worst enemies, stress and frustrations. It is not easy to take that step back, but, you did it!!! Truly inspiring Peggy. I am so happy that this has helped you to feel at peace:)