Do you ever wonder why you get frustrated at another person? It could happen with strangers and more often, loved ones. We tell the people close to us that we care about them one minute and the next, we’re yelling at them. How can this be?
If you’re upset about something, it means you have a rule that got broken. It could be a rule for your spouse, child, husband, finances, relationships, etc.
Rules are often learned through childhood from our parents, teachers, and the culture we grow up in. We learn rules for being good, bad, and cultural norms and expectations. After learning these rules, they get ingrained into our nervous system and we don’t think about them again. However, they lurk behind our anger until we examine them.
What are some examples of rules that we are unaware of? Imagine standing at the grocery store line up. If there are 2 people in front of you, you may decide to wait in line. If there are 3, suddenly, you think there are too many people and you wonder why the store can’t open up more lanes. You may even get frustrated that the cashier isn’t going fast enough. Where did this rule come from?
At home, you may have grown up in a household where your mother stayed at home to help out with the household and children while you father went to work. You may have learned through that experience that certain tasks are performed by one person while others by the other. Now, what happens if you are in a relationship with someone who grew up in a household where both parents were working out of the house and both parents did the cooking and cleaning. You would learn a different set of rules. When these two people get together, they may have different expectations which may lead to anger and frustration.
What if you were interacting with a co-worker who grew up on the other side of the world? In the North American culture, it is considered rude to slurp your soup, however in the Far East, slurping your soup indicates that you had a delicious meal.
When you get upset, get curious with yourself. Ask, what rule has been broken. Then, examine your rule. Does it still continue to serve you. If yes, keep the rule, if not, get rid of it. When you argue with your spouse, check to see if you both have different rules about the same thing.
For more info about knowing your rules and what to do with them, come to our next advanced workshop.
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.