Learn to love irritations | columns | Hindustan Times
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Learn to love irritations

A man consulted a well-known psychiatrist as his marriage and career were in trouble. His problem was his constant irritability and bad temper. Though he was concerned about it, if any one tried to discuss it with him, he exploded in anger. Ishmit Oberoi writes.

columns Updated: May 30, 2013 23:06 IST
Ishmit Oberoi

A man consulted a well-known psychiatrist as his marriage and career were in trouble. His problem was his constant irritability and bad temper. Though he was concerned about it, if any one tried to discuss it with him, he exploded in anger. He constantly told himself that everyone was picking on him and that he had to defend himself against them.

To counter the negative autosuggestion, the psychiatrist advised the man to use this positive autosuggestion several times a day: “From now on, I shall be more good-humored. Joy, happiness, and cheerfulness are now becoming my natural state of mind. Every day I am becoming more and more lovable and understanding. I will be the centre of cheer and goodwill to all those around me. This cheerful mood is now becoming my natural state of mind. I am grateful.”

After a month, his wife and his colleagues found it easier to get along with him.

The things that drive you crazy actually give you opportunities. The people who press your buttons are your greatest teachers. The issues that make you angry are actually your biggest gifts. Be grateful to them. Love them.

The people or circumstances that take away your power have extraordinary value: they reveal your limiting fears and assumptions.

Celebrated psychologist Carl Jung once said: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”

The things that irritate you are entry points into your evolution and elevation as a human being. They are signposts for what you need to work on and the fears you need to face. They are gifts of growth. If you understand this, you begin to see the world through a different set of eyes.

As Khalil Gibran wrote: “I have learned silence from the talkative, tolerance from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strangely, I am grateful to those teachers.”