(Third in an ongoing series on Acceptance in The Time of Coronavirus)
If you’re like me, your tolerance of others has been strained in this Time of Coronavirus, be it with loved ones you are
“confined” at home with or just people who get on your nerves.
No question about it, most people are on edge these days and it doesn’t take much for them to go off.
Patience is in short supply, and anger is in abundance.
If I were to tell you that you would likely be much better off—and have greater serenity—if you were to accept these people as they are, you might think I have contacted the virus!
Fortunately, I haven’t—and hope not to!
But I will also tell you that accepting others, as ornery as they may be, does not mean what you might think it means.
It has nothing to do with excusing, condoning, or otherwise approving of their words or behavior. (See, “Three Misconceptions About Acceptance)
It does have a lot to do with “staying on your side of the street” and focusing on taking good care of yourself.
Take my friend Jen, for example. On many days, her husband is stressed and agitated, particularly over being cooped up at home day and night.
As Jen puts it, “I truly don’t know what side of the bed he will be getting up on each day.”
She further explains,
“But I also know I can’t fix him or make him feel better. I’ve learned that’s well beyond my power to accomplish. And when I do focus on his woes too much, I soon find myself down the rabbit’s hole as well, and that clearly doesn’t help him any.
“So I just try to love and accept him as he is, pray for his well being, and be careful not to get wrapped up in it all. That allows me to stay more emotionally balanced and focus on what I can do to take better care of myself during these difficult times.”
Here are four suggestions that will make it easier to accept others in The Time of Coronavirus:
- Cut them some slack. These are trying times for everyone. A lot of people are really struggling in coping with things. Their fears, frustrations, and “demons” consume them. These are not normal times and many people are not acting as they normally do.
- Don’t take things too personally. What someone says or does that offends most often has more to do with where they are in their life or what’s happening to them. In other words, it’s not about us. Hence, when the “stings” come, try to take some time to consider what their real sources may be and not take the matters too personally.
- Detach with love. This mainstay of the 12 Step programs is particularly helpful now. It simply means to emotionally (and if necessary, physically) separate or remove yourself from the “drama” or unnerving ways of others, but to do so in a kind, caring manner. Jen’s story is a good example of detaching with love.
- Consider whether you had a role in another’s behavior. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that we, too, have been impacted by what’s going on. We also may not be our “normal” selves and may have contributed to another’s offensive or irritable ways. It’s therefore important to at least ask yourself such questions as:
“Did I play a part in the matter?” “Have I been curt or impatient with the person?” “Have I been on edge lately?”, and the like.
I am confident that these tools will help you better accept others in The Time of Coronavirus and concurrently bring you greater calm and serenity.
I welcome your thoughts and experiences on accepting people who bother you. How do you, for example, react or respond when someone upsets or irritates you? What acceptance tools have helped you in dealing with such people?
In the meantime,
Let It Go—and Accept “What Is!”
*If you liked this post, please “like it” on your Facebook page and share it with others.