Remake Your Emotions

There are times I become excessively frustrated with banter or teasing. It doesn't happen often, and usually I'm game for those kinds of social interactions. Ask any of my friends or my wife. But, and it's probably when I'm tired, I just don't want to play. The problem is that it is hard to say I don't want to play without hurting the other's feelings, so I go along with it and just feel terrible myself.

The "easy" advice is to just communicate since it's better in the long run. And that's probably true, but it's never quite as easy as just saying it. I have found, however, that changing the emotion I'm feeling from the encounter into something better is a useful redirection of negative feelings. Just the other day I experienced this, and so instead of fuming, I cleaned the kitchen. I could have sulked on my phone or mindlessly watched nothing on the TV or any other unhelpful non-activity. But, knowing I was feeling awful, I did something to make myself feel better.

I guess you could say its a distraction, but sometimes that's all I need. The emotion I'm feeling is temporary and due to an interaction I didn't like. But if I sit and think on it, it swells into something worse. If I put it to the side and transform the "bad energy" into something fruitful, the moment and feeling has passed, preserving my sanity and the interactions I have with others.

Is this the healthiest thing? No, I should probably communicate more proactively to prevent the negative interactions in the first place. But life doesn't always give you the choice of prevention of such emotions, so you have to find ways to deal with it well. For now, this seems to work out ok. Not great, but ok, and that's ok.

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