Tips for Overcoming Irritation

Life’s irritations. Without a doubt, we have a long list of them. From the shrill of the morning alarm to temper-tantrumed toddlers in the grocery store to rude customers, we deal with irritations every day, all day long.

In thinking about it, I realized that life is full of irritations–inescapable by anyone in any circumstance. Rich people, poor people and those in between suffer them. Smart people and those who aren’t so smart encounter irritations. Although we do our best to plan our lives to avoid them, we cannot. We can only conclude then, that we are meant to deal with irritation and that an indicator of our character is how we deal with them.

How do I react when confronted with a demanding customer or relative? What is my reaction when my creations don’t follow my imagination or schedule? How about the show that promised hoards of shoppers with loads of cash to spend, but produced a fraction thereof?

Yes, they’re all irritating and downright discouraging; and yet, we have the choice to let the irritations beat us down or to acknowledge them and make the best of the situation.

The saying goes, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” I submit to you that every soap has a lather; every candle has a flame; every show has some kind of potential and every customer serves a purpose. We can choose to find how to best handle that soap, that customer or that flopped creation. Make the soap or candle into something different than you imagined and let that customer motivate you to develop a strategy to use the next time you get a someone like her or to correct the situation if she’s right. Observe other vendors to find out what they are doing that you can learn from and be brave enough to try something different.

Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts and go on.

If you can do it all with a genuine smile on your face, all the better!

What do you do to deal with irritation in your craft? Share your strategies.

Until next time, may your days be filled with bubbles and wax.

Beth Byrne for Making Soap, Cosmetics and Candles