How to Deal with Your Annoying Family or Your Annoying Self during a Pandemic

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Life is rough enough as it is. It is chockfull of uncertainty which leads to anxiety. To then add a pandemic on top of that is the world showing us that what little control we thought we had can be taken from us.

Now that we have to stay indoors to stave off diseases of the body, we have exacerbated diseases of the mind.

We cannot ignore it anymore. It’s too obvious. Our family is annoying. Of course we always knew that but they’re unlocking new levels of irritation.

Or maybe they’re just unlocking old levels of irritation. Whatever the reason, your resentment is building to a boiling point and you don’t know how much more of that crap you can take.

But there’s another group of us with the opposite problem. We had distractions like work or relationships to blame but now it’s staring us right in the face. We have some serious problems and it explains why our lives have been what they’ve been.

The mild levels of self-resentment are increasing the more aware we are of our personal mistakes, programming and ignorance.

The worst part about both of these dilemmas is that the pain we feel can spill out onto others. That’s just how human beings work. We feel good, we can’t help but spill good vibes onto others. We feel bad, and we can’t help but communicate just how bad we feel.

If you were quarantining with a group of people you didn’t know, it is likely that you’d be annoyed sometimes because people have their own weird quirks. However, you probably wouldn’t feel as annoyed as you do around your actual family because they’ve let you down many times in the past.

You have some baggage that you haven’t dropped and being trapped inside with them is forcing you to face those suitcases of suckiness. It’s forcing them to face their own suitcases too.

For those of us who are all alone, if we erased our past we would be a new person. We would spend our time discovering who we are, what we like and what makes us tick. Essentially, we’d actually start to have a relationship with ourselves again rather than just going through the motions in the same old carbon skin sack we’ve been lugging around for years.

If we didn’t know our past we would not be ruminating on what we don’t have and how we’ve failed, or daydreaming about our former successes and longing for when things were better because our focus would be on what is right now.

There are two solutions. The first one is hard, the second one is harder. Sorry but if I’m being honest, there isn’t an easy solution. If there was, we would be out of our personal predicaments already.

The first solution is to let yourself feel what you are feeling. If your folks are upsetting you or triggering you, let yourself feel it instead of trying to defend your position or lashing out.

You don’t have to stand in front of them like a zen monk and chant “Om.” When they hit your wound, go and dress it like you would a physical one — by yourself. By just allowing yourself to feel the pain instead of resisting it as we usually do, the wound begins to heal.

If you have the kind of relationship where you feel comfortable talking to them about things, have a conversation and express how what they did made you feel. But if you don’t, that’s okay too. Just do yourself a favor and tend to your wound.

If you’re alone tormenting yourself, it’s the same thing. Don’t go looking for distractions. Place your attention on the ennui, the weird undercurrent of discomfort you’re feeling.

Ask yourself where the pain is stemming from and have a conversation with yourself. No, you’re not crazy to do this. You’re crazy to not do this because this is simply having a relationship with yourself.

We do this for our friends, family and romances. Why not do it for ourselves? Your self will thank you later.

The second and harder solution is to be in the present moment, but this is harder because once you get triggered, you’re immediately a prisoner to the past. Being in the moment is supposed to be natural, not something you make yourself do.

If you aren’t in the present moment, it is important to investigate why. Your feelings and emotions are the signs that will lead you to the answer.

When the pandemic blows over and life returns to normal, (then again, can anything ever go back to how it was before a pandemic?) at least you emerged from the cocoon of self-realization and flew into self-actualization.

At least something good came from all of this.

So as we continue our respective quarantines, I wish that the past that still irks you will be kinder and that life and the circumstances of life will be your mate rather than your master.

Former Edu. Psychologist | Current Writer | Constant Learner | “By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

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