It’s quite common for me to listen to people who are angry, usually stating that their anger was caused by a specific person or event. Often I ask if there were other recent irritating events that they simply didn’t deal with. The answer is almost always “yes,” followed by an illustration:
“My husband said XX, but I decided it was no big deal, so I didn’t say anything.”
“My wife bought XX, after we had made an agreement not to spend more than $YY dollars without talking to each other, but it’s not that big a thing, so I let it go.”
“My coworker barked at me about something she wanted done, but we were busy, so I decided not to bring it up.”
IF a relationship is firmly founded on genuine love, you don’t have to deal with every slight, or inconvenience, or violation of a promise, or moment of irritation. In an overall atmosphere of love, most things really are no big deal. When you’re strong, small burdens are easily carried or even laid down.
But most relationships are not sufficiently grounded in unconditional love, so each unloving or difficult event adds to the pile of others that came before it, and in a flash people find themselves overwhelmed.
So, until you feel sufficiently confident in who you are, and are unruffled by the daily distractions around you, don’t let the small things go. These “little things” can become a big deal if you’ve failed to deal with enough of them. Disasters are usually the result of a long series of unattended “small” things.
So, if your husband speaks to you with a snippy tone, don’t let it go because it would be “easier” to do so, or because you’re afraid of how the conversation might go. Speak up. Say something like, “You may not realize that you did it, but there was a bit of a tone in what you just said to me, and I felt more distant from you as a result.”
If your coworker barks a command at you, don’t lie on the floor so he can also walk on you. Say something, not to be defensive or to “stand up” for yourself. Just be clear about who you are and what just happened. Say, “You may be having a bad day, or you simply didn’t recognize what you just did, but you snapped at me just now and ordered me about as though I were a servant. Would you prefer to leave it like that, or would you like to try speaking again in a different way?”
We can prevent most crises. We can prevent things from becoming a big deal. We need to work toward a consistency of being loving, and as much as possible to require the people around us to at least be civil, so that these “small” things don’t turn into the mountains that crush us.
Find genuine happiness now and forever.
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