How to laugh at annoyances
By Jordan Myska Allen, musician and very happy dude. You can read more about him here.
Let’s pretend for a moment that you have a friend who hates the politics of George W. Bush. Whenever the guy speaks, he begins to seethe with anger, and the rest of his day is ruined.
Think about the insanity of that for a second. This friend HATES Bush, and yet he allows the former president to have absolute power over his happiness. If this person is your friend’s sworn enemy, why give Bush so much control over his life?
Unfortunately, we all do this. The things that annoy us, big or small, often affect our mood exponentially more than the things we love. Which stays longer in your psyche: the warmth of coffee or the frustration of spilling it on your shirt?
Think of the last five compliments you received. Now think of the last five insults. Which list comes faster?
There’s a biological rationality embedded in this type of thinking. When it’s just you versus nature, good things are a bonus but bad things are life or death. Yet our world is different now, and most of us don’t have to worry about survival on a minute-to-minute basis. Therefore, we must train ourselves to think differently.
You could have a meditative attitude, but if you’re not already on that path this article probably isn’t going to convince you. Instead, I’m going to suggest a more controversial, experimental, and creative approach.
Whenever a person, event, or idea gets under your skin, I want you imagine it as a person yelling in your face. This person demands that you get on your knees and kiss their feet. Ridiculous right? Right now, if I demanded that you drop to your knees and kiss my feet, what would you do? Laugh at my face, probably. You’d just laugh at the absurdity of my demand.
Well, that’s exactly what you’re going to do with your annoyances. Laugh at ’em.
Laugh at the image you’ve made of them in your mind. Laugh in the face of the person, event, or idea that is holding your happiness hostage. Don’t give it the satisfaction of changing your mood. Don’t acquiesce to it’s ridiculous demands. It has no power over you, unless you let it. It cannot force you to be unhappy just like it cannot force you to kiss its feet. It’s just an idea in your mind.