How to Deal with Other Humans

Vex: to make (someone) feel annoyed, frustrated, or worried, esp. with trivial matters

The last couple days have been vexing.

Do you ever have those days where every thing is annoying? Like someone breathing too loud makes you want to go like Hulk-on-Loki-in-the-Avengers crazy? 

That’s been me the last couple days. Other humans (and the occasional dog) have basically made me want to pull my hair out.

From the guys behind me talking loudly during our lecture, to the bicyclist who almost knocked me over walking to my next class, to the students who wouldn’t allow a car to move because they kept walking in front of it, to the person who got into our car and stole all my country CDs, to my dog puking up all over the floor…it’s been a rough two days.

My frustrations started in my first class of the day. Two frat-guys were discussing their spring break plans to “get totally crunk bro.” After about 5 minutes of solid talking, I turned around and told that they they were being distracting as I was attempting to take notes and that they were disrespecting our professor by talking in class.

Confrontation is not something I particularly care for. My heart rate was spiked, my palms were clammy, and I’m sure my voice wasn’t as clear as it could have been, yet I spoke my peace. I called them out.

All of my frustrations got me thinking about myself though. About how what I get angry and annoyed about reflects about my personality and temperament. I found myself calling others out in my head…in my head I called them selfish and proud.

But then they called me a bitch. And continued talking after I turned back around.

So I spun back, stared them in the eye, and fired: “Are you serious? I just asked you to stop talking. You don’t have to be in lecture. You could leave and continue your conversation outside. You’re distracting me and disrespecting our professor. Stop talking.”

They called me a bitch one more time, but I didn’t hear a peep out of them the rest of class.

Even when you know that you did the right thing, being called a bitch at 9:45am is not the best way to start a morning. I’ll spare you all the details of my following encounters with humans, just know that by the end of the day – I was fed up with people.

All of my frustrations got me thinking about myself though. About how what I get angry and annoyed about reflects about my personality and temperament. I found myself calling others out in my head…in my head I called them selfish and proud.

But, I was the one being selfish and being proud.

And I most definitely was not being forgiving.

be-kind-for-everyone-you-meet-is-fighting-a-hard-battle“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” – Ian Maclaren

I love this quote because it creates a cause for compassion.

It gives me a reason to be forgiving consistently, even when other humans are driving me insane.

Also, it’s true.

Have you ever been stuck in rush hour traffic and just looked around?

You and approximately 10,000 other people are all experiencing the same thing at that moment. They have lives and families and heartache. Maybe one is attempting to get home to his wife and kids so that he can finally make it to his daughter’s softball game. Maybe another is trying to get to the hospital before a baby is born, or before a loved one passes away.

Yours is not the only story that is happening at any one moment ever. Your story and my story and your neighbors’ story are all existing in the same space.

This thought is humbling for me today. Every single person I meet is fighting a hard battle, therefore I will be kind, forgiving, and loving.

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