I need to stop getting so angry at inconsequential things

I have a major problem in life and it’s one I really struggle to address. I get far too angry at what are, in the grand scheme of things, inconsequential things. Some examples of this:

  • Excessive noise on trains.
    • Especially people who listen to music or watch video content without using headphones / earbuds.
    • Especially people who make phone calls and speak at a volume similar to Dom Joly’s ‘Big Phone Guy’ from Trigger Happy TV.
  • Drivers not using their indicators.
  • Drivers driving right up my backside (not just my own either, but when I see drivers do this to other cars too).
  • People talking at the cinema.
  • People talking at gigs (during the performance, that is…).
  • Moderate mess at home.
  • What I perceive as rude manners in others (including excessive arrogance).
  • People I don’t particularly like appearing on TV (there aren’t many though there are a select few who really make my hackles rise…).
  • People flinging open their car doors into a busy road, with no thought of those cars driving right past them.
  • People who take up an extra seat on a busy train with a bag or rucksack which could easily go on the floor or in a roof rack.
  • Kids making noise on the street (I know, I know – this is a bad one which I shouldn’t have included, but there are times when it does annoy me, particularly when I crave peace and quiet…).
  • People who don’t hold doors open for others.
  • People who don’t say ‘thanks’ when I hold a door for them.
  • People who treat others (particularly young people) trying to go about their work like dirt (think waiters / waitresses / shop assistants / bar staff).
  • People who won’t meet me halfway on a pavement and carry on walking as though they have a divine right to at least 80% of that available space.
  • My own flaws. Procrastination; tiredness; lapsing when I’m trying to eat healthily and snack on something bad; not achieving what I intended to during any given day.

There are many more examples I could quote. So many more. However, to keep this relatively brief, I’ve capped the list to these 16 examples.

The main issue I have is that I know this is ridiculous. In the main (with the exception of a handful of these examples) I know there is very little I can do to change things, so I should be able to just shrug most of these off. However, I find it extremely difficult to do that. Whenever I come across these scenarios, I can feel the anger rising in my chest, like a bomb ready to explode. I’d hoped that as I get older, I’d get better at ignoring these triggers, though the reality is I’m getting worse and am much more likely to push aside my dislike of confrontation and say something to people (as I did at a recent Elton John concert, when a lady behind me talked through each and every song and I asked her to be quiet (which she wasn’t happy with…)). The sense of frustration now overrides my desire for a peaceful and quiet life – I don’t mind getting into heated conversations with people if I think they’re being unreasonable.

Ultimately, I know none of this is good for my mental or physical health. There are times when I’m able to ignore certain behaviours, especially when I make a concerted effort to be calmer behind the wheel of my car, though these are always temporary phases – I’m never able to make that approach and thought-process permanent. The anger always returns eventually. And, perversely, that in itself annoys me too…

The book in the image below has been gathering dust on my shelf for a few years now – it really does seem like the right time to delve into it, though I’m not sure that alone will work. I’m keen to understand if anyone else is able to successfully suppress ‘day-to-day’ anger?

As always, thanks for reading and take care.

Best wishes.


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