Are Other People Making You Angry? You Need To Read This.

Are Other People Making You Angry? You Need To Read This.

Posted · 11 Comments

pic by the lovely Parker Fitzgerald

pic by Parker Fitzgerald

When you are open to receiving signs, words or gentle reminders from the Universe you often find that it speaks a language that is much needed and that teaches great lessons.

I was on a flight back from Sydney about a month ago, simply filled with love and ‘yummyness’ after connecting with a bunch of my tribe en masse. I sat in my seat and next to me was this lovely guy trying to set up his cup of tea and his laptop.  If you picture him, he may as well have had on a tweed blazer and leather patches in his sleeves, such was his sweetness.  His tea was sloshing around and he kept having to grab for his cup and move his laptop because there was a man in the seat in  front of him trying to get comfortable.

All 100+ kgs of him.  

He was throwing himself around like an elephant shaking off water. Everything my neighbour was, this dude wasn’t.  He looked angry – sour – and like he didn’t give two hoots about anyone but himself. My friend next door tapped him on the shoulder and asked “Is everything ok? You keep bumping my table.” To which Mr. Angry replied “So fu*king what?”.

Riiiiiggggghhhhht. He glared at Mr. Tweed and myself (I must have looked like my hackles went up) preparing for a fight that he knew he would win – in his mind – if it got physical.  I could tell that he had been in this position before and I have no doubt that his fists had seen a few fights. My neigbour looked at me.

Everything in me was screaming frustration, confrontation and war.  How dare this guy! Me all fire and brimstone.  I was cursing the gall of this guy and wondering how I could get involved with giving back to him this crap that he was sending our way. It was then that I caught myself.

That classic moment of realisation that I am trying not to engage with bad energy.  That I won’t judge this behaviour because it doesn’t nourish me, or anyone.  I found myself slipping, I caught it.

A week or so later and I’m at home with my 3 year old.  We’re in the midst of a living nightmare right about now.  My daughter has a physical ailment that is causing her huge pain and discomfort and I am for the first time since she was born, powerless. My baby who talks about extinction, and those ‘bloody’ possums out the back and the wisteria vine.  She who beats a mean egg for cakes, and runs to us for cuddles and kisses as if she would surely expire without them, is battling with pain herself right now.

My little bruiser who dances just as gracelessly as I and is always the first at the dinner table to call ‘gratitude practice’.  Who reminds me to appreciate the beauty of the sunrise when we walk to our car, has turned into a little girl I don’t know.

3 days ago she hit me in the face.  Pain and frustration has caused hours each day of crying, whining, wailing and petulance.  Foot stamping, back-chatting and baby-waking horror.   For the first time, I am the mother in the supermarket getting stares that I easily read as “learn to control your child”.  Yet if they knew…

Circumstance beyond my control has taken my girl right now and sent in her place a child that is struggling so much with discomfort, pain and frustration that she is using her words, fists and actions to strike out.

Have you ever had a headache, or were sick or tired and you found yourself snapping at someone you love – or even a stranger? We are so quick to defend, attack, bristle, go to war, fight or lash out if we feel we’re hard done by.  But it’s never about us. While I was glared at in the health food section of Coles by a woman walking past with her basket, it made me think of Mr. Angry on the plane and his thrashing about at the world.

I wonder what happened in his life to create this ‘fight’ response. There is no doubt about it, he has learned this behaviour from somewhere and perhaps acted on it so many times he feels like being ‘attacked’ is his reality.   This is a grown man who may carry this behaviour for the rest of his life, maybe feeling surprised that he always finds himself in situations similar to this one yet unaware of the power of the energy he puts out into the Universe.


That person who pushed in front of you to get on the train this morning may have just found out his wife is in the hospital and he is desperately hurried.  The woman who ignored you as you thanked her this morning may have just found out that her husband is leaving her. That little girl who just hit her Mummy in the face may be so filled with pain that she doesn’t know how to cope. We may never know someone else’s history, background or pain.  What we see on the surface is never what exists within and we need to show compassion, love and kindness before we defend and attack.

Always, always go with love.


Are Other People Making You Angry? You Need To Read This. was last modified: November 1st, 2014 by Alice Nicholls
  • Katie

    I really like your take on this classic lesson. We never do know what someone is struggling with so by sharing your very specific story it reminds us to be patient and kind. Lately, as I’ve been practicing this for long enough I’ve noticed myself go towards my heart when people are unkind. It makes me sad, because I know they must be struggling. No one ‘wants’ to act out everyone ‘wants’ to be nice so they really must be hurting inside. Now I send them prayers of love as hard as I can and outwardly I try to see if there is something I can do to make their day better through help or a smile. Although it’s taken me a long time and a lot of practice I’m happy this my response now. You are doing a fantastic job of practicing the emotions you want to feel. Thanks for sharing this story.

  • Amy

    This is wonderful Alice, thank you so much for your post! I started following you after hearing you speak at the IIN Conference in Sydney and I have since started my own blog with a focus on chronic pain. I know exactly what you are talking about here – it is so hard to control your emotions when you are in pain, and not just a headache that goes away after a couple of panadol and a few hours, but the mind fogging, all consuming pain that lasts for weeks, months, years!! Here’s a link to my story if you are interested: I hope your daughter finds some peace 🙂

  • Danuta’s Notebook

    These events are so classic. The more I practise living life with love and light the more circumstances occur that seem to test my commitment and convictions, just as it seems with you. A little example from me is when I was walking my dog around a lake, feeling serene, healthy and basking in sunlight, when a cyclist abused me, expletives and all, for having my dog off the leash. The hairs on the back of my neck rose and before I knew it I gave him a mouthful as good as I got, to which his jaw dropped and he rode off. I was immediately horrified at my own behaviour and simultaneously buzzed with adrenalin. As I continued my walk I looked at what happened, Firstly, the ‘old’ me would have worn his abuse, not said anything and put my dog on the leash – not a particularly empowered person. Secondly, the ‘now’ me simply mirrored him – without thinking I was him for a moment and showed him how he was behaving. If he saw that great, if he didn’t well that’s his path. Thirdly, I had to stop beating myself for not behaving the way I ideally would have liked – I learnt something, I hope my fellow human learnt something. I have a shadow side, as we all do, and it came out then, but this shadow side keeps me grounded and continually learning. I love hearing about other people’s perspective and happenings. They teach me too. Xo

  • Brenda Janschek

    Beautiful words Alice. I find it helps to breathe when I’m feeling triggered, it gives me some space to calm and remember that so many of us are in pain, whether it be big or small, chronic or fleeting. Always go with love. x

  • Thanks Brenda. I am learning this one over and over from those around me. Working on it. X

  • I love the fact that you are consciously thinking of your actions. Regardless of the outcome it is a wonderful thing to start creating awareness. Thanks so much for your comment. X

  • Oh Hi, I remember you talking about your blog and desire for this business. My own mother experiences such great pain every day with RA and I have learned form that too. I am going to delve into your story. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to supporting your success with your business. X

  • Thanks so much for your beautiful comment Katie. It’s amazing because we think we should just make the choice to ‘go with love’ and when we find it is hard we can sometimes give up but it does take so much practise. I’m growing, learning and sharing it as much as possible because I am so aware now of all of these lessons in my life. Great to have you here as part of that. Alice. XX

  • Sam Morrisey

    I really needed this reminder……..Thanks Alice. 🙂

  • Catherine Barrows

    Great post, I saw this quote a few months back – ” Everyone is struggling with something you know nothing about, be kind, always” and it has really resonated with me. Love the design of your new website 🙂

  • Hannah

    This really made me think. Too often am I that person that stews on the inside when someone bumps into me without an apology, doesn’t say thank you when I hold a door open etc etc.. next time I will try to remember this blog post and that it may be totally unintentional that they didn’t say thanks, or that they bumped into me, and that perhaps they are just going through something bigger that is occupying their mind at that time. After all, it is far more pleasant to think this, than stew on it and resent what they did.

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