Getting upset at other people involves insisting and demanding, thinking rigidly that these other people not act in ways you hate. If you were to work on seeing how your rigid rules and demands have no leverage over how other people absolutely must act you would stop being an accessory to your own emotional torture. With this insight, you could avoid the fatiguing emotional upset that reduces your satisfaction in life by keeping your preferences for how you would like other people to act. With your preferential philosophy, you would never get upset if other people violate your preferences. In addition, by remaining calm when others act badly you will be better able to come up with a creative plot to calmly block, persuade or influence the other person. Of course, if you cannot figure out a creative way to have some degree of influence on the other person then your preferential attitude will enable you to do a very sensible but high difficult thing - gracefully lump their behavior! That is right I said gracefully lump their behavior. In our society, people do not often identify this as one of their options.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy is a realistic approach to coping with difficult people and situations and sometimes the best you can do in both the short and long run is stubbornly refuse to be miserable about the obnoxious things our fellow humans often do. Too bad! Start acknowledging, I mean really acknowledging, how your rigid rules and childish demands have absolutely no influence over reality and people and only serve to make you as tense and upset. Stick to rational, philosophical preferences and you will be in control of your own emotional buttons.
Rational coping statements to remember:
1. "I push my own emotional buttons about the nonsense that other people do.
2. "With work and practice I can learn how not to take the bait when colleagues, customers and family members offer it and thereby avoid getting upset about the things they do which I dislike. I can control myself with work and practice."
3. "When I acknowledge that others do not have the power to push my buttons, I will become a far more efficient, happy and better at problem solving."
4. My rigid “Musts” make me upset. However, when I question these musts I see that there is no law of the universe that says people must do as I think they absolutely should or must do. It would be better if they were to do things the way I think they should be done but alas people mostly do what they want and not what I want. Too bad.
5. I can assertively ask people to do what I want but in the end I have no guarantee that they will fulfill my wishes. However, even when they do not I can choose not to be upset. I make myself upset by demanding that other people do as I wish.