Jenny had a great job. It was a job she liked. But she found herself getting easily annoyed. It began to encompass everything and everyone she was involved with. She began to dread going to her job.
Jenny would swing back and forth between thinking that she worked with a bunch of incompetents, to thinking that it was she who was incompetent. Neither was productive or enjoyable.
It’s not easy being around a “Negative Nancy.” Someone who is always annoyed with everything can really affect your opinions and feelings of the situation. It’s even worse when that negative person is you. If it were anyone else, you could distance yourself from them. How do you get away from yourself?
Jenny told me that she started do see a big change when she realized that her negative emotions were all tied to stories from her past.
“The anger I was feeling was stemming from past insecurities…ones I fear will rear their ugly heads again; the feeling that I was always wrong turning into the obsession with always being right. As a result, my defense was to be highly critical of others, but I was highly critical of myself.”
“I would look for things to go wrong. When all you are looking for are things to go wrong, you will most definitely find them. I would feel very self righteous, but was pretty miserable.”
When she observed certain [usually innocent] behaviors from coworkers, it brought her back to those insecure days. It reminded her of how she felt back then and how she dealt with those negative feelings. It brought everything back.
“I had to learn to keep my annoyance under my thumb or I was miserable to be around.”
She learned to stop and separate herself from the past insecurities. She changed the stories associated with those memories. They wouldn’t define her anymore.
“Once I started doing that, I was able to say, That’s not me anymore…I’ve grown up.”
As she learned to accept those feelings, the situations didn’t annoy her anymore.
She learned to welcome those reminders from her past as proof that she had grown….that she was growing.