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Living in Mild Preference - the Anecdote for Irritated and Bothered

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Living in Mild Preference

The Anecdote for Irritated and Bothered

One of the lower levels of the mood elevator that many people drop into quite easily is irritated and bothered. This usually has to do with events, circumstances or people not being the way we think they should be. It happens in relationships, families, in the workplace, and as we go about normal activities in our day to day life. Traffic was heavier this morning, the light turned red just as we reached it, our loved one has a habit that irritates us, and life happens the way it happens but we let it dampen our spirit. What's interesting is that given the same life circumstances, some people are very easily irritated and bothered while others can shrug it off and easily just let it go. Some can quickly drop from irritated to anger while others are simply amused by how life plays out.

There is a popular book you may have read that addressed this topic. It is called Don't Sweat the Small Stuff. The fact it became a best seller suggested to me that this was a common life condition most people face.

What's the difference between those people who don't seem to sweat the small stuff and others who are in a frequent state of bother? The answer is there is a distinct and definable difference in mindset or orientation towards life between those who are easily bothered and those who are not. Here is what it is. Those that are more easily bothered seem to have a stronger need to have things be a given way. They have more deep-seated beliefs about how people are supposed to be or behave and stronger beliefs about how life is supposed to play out. That life stance may in fact serve them well in some aspects of their life. They may have higher standards, strong principles and be more uncompromising. If they can be discerning in where to apply those standards and stick to them where that is appropriate, the philosophy may serve them well. If it becomes an unconscious habit used on big issues and small they will spend a lot of unnecessary time at irritated and bothered and impact their relationships and the quality of their lives.

Those who spend less time in those lower levels seem to live in a world of what could be called "mild preference." They are much more mindful and aware of when to put a stake in the ground. They too may have similar high standards and guiding principles but they are more thoughtful in terms of when it matters. Should we have Mexican or Italian for dinner doesn't need to be WWIII. Traffic lights aren't programmed to stop you when you are in a hurry. They just happen to be green sometimes and red others. Something someone else says we don't agree with is just that person's point of view, not a right or wrong to go to battle over. A critical few things are non-negotiable while most of the



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