There are so many new difficulties we’re facing these days. Trouble sleeping. Finding things to do while we’re staying at home. Making sure we can handle feeling more alone than usual. It’s a whirlwind just to prepare mentally, physically and emotionally to live in a world that’s very different from what we’ve come to know. With that preparation comes learning new things about people, systems and everything else. And it can be extremely frustrating.
Even though I’ve been staying at home (going on week five of working from home!), I’ve learned a lot about how certain people in my life are handling this challenge in adversity. People find all sorts of mental approaches to help them deal with unique situations (like a pandemic), and even though I think there isn’t really a wrong way to handle this situation as long as you’re staying safe and healthy, some things still don’t make sense. And it’s made me frustrated.
Generally speaking, I’m not someone who gets angry a lot (one of the upsides of depression <3), but in the past few weeks, I’ve had angry outbursts that I typically don’t have. If my walls could talk, they’d tell you I’ve been more expressive in the past week than I ever have been in my apartment. Part of that anger and frustration came from the fact that I didn’t agree with what some people were doing and saying about coronavirus, and I didn’t have anywhere to put that energy. I didn’t like what was happening, so I got angry. But I didn’t consider another reason for my anger, and coming to terms with that has made me feel much better.
When we agree or disagree with someone, we tend to forget that a component of doing it in a healthy way is understanding where the other person is coming from. If you don’t get why someone did or said something, it makes your argument for/against it less valid. So why do I get angry? I thought it was because I didn’t like what was happening. But after talking to some people (shoutout to people), I saw that the truth was, I didn’t understand a lot of what was annoying me.
As a smart person once said, ‘not understanding something can be equally as frustrating as not liking it.’ And let me tell you, it’s true and it’s real – now more than ever. While you are doing what you need to do to stay healthy, so is everyone else. And what they do and what you do might not always align, and it can be frustrating.
But now is the time to try to understand people’s thought processes and motivations because it can benefit you as much as it benefits them. Empathy is everything right now, and it can help you a great deal. You might not agree with these things; it’s more likely that you don’t. But at the very least, understanding the ‘why’ might release some of that frustration we’re carrying with us and at this point, we need to let go of as much negativity as we can.