The Beginning of a Pearl

Irritable-CardHere’s the the ninth post in my series on the Moodscope Cards series:

Today, it’s the turn of the “Irritable” Card – the sort of card that gives you paper-cuts!

Irritable – is defined by Moodscope as “Feeling Easily Annoyed”

“Irritable” is a wonderful word – it even has a ratty rhythm to it – a kind of tetchy staccato beat!  Irritability is an over-reaction to stimuli.  Rat-ta-tat-tat!   I’m going to speak auto-biographically here.  I’ve noticed over the years that I tend to be irritable with those people I like most!  It’s almost as if I give myself permission to be ratty with those close to me, but I extend a greater tolerance to strangers.  Does that sound around the wrong way to you?

So, for today, the key for me is focusing on the concept of an “over-reaction”.  Whether we’re talking about psychological irritability, or physical irritability like IBS, there is some (over) reaction to a stimulus.  Thus I take a two-pronged approach: 1) reduce the stimuli, and 2) challenge the type of reaction.

1)      Reduce the stimuli.  I am a massive fan of FABs.  “FAB” stands for a “Fluid Adjustment Break”.  When I am over-stimulated and in danger of over-reacting, I excuse myself on pop off either to the loo or to make myself a drink.  Both Fluid Adjustments seem to give me psychological fluidity too, and I can often recover and calm down.  Distance gives perspective.

2)      Challenge the type of reaction.  “Irritation is the beginning of a pearl!”  A pearl is the Oyster’s response to an irritant in its mantle.  By consciously seeking for some value in an experience, I can sometimes turn an irritating situation into a valuable lesson – a pearl of wisdom.  It’s sort of, “Always look on the bright side of life!”  This doesn’t mean that I am naturally optimistic – far from it.  It does mean though that I invest energy into the thinking process used to find something useful in the scenario – and that, in and of itself, is a useful distraction!

May all your irritations today be the beginnings of beautiful pearls!


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