When Someone Gets Under-Your-Skin

in Art of Listening, Cultivating Clarity
Feeling Upset


Okay, this is confession time. Have you ever been with someone, played a game, or gone to an event that just seemed to bring out the ‘worst’ in you? I know I have.

And to be very honest, I’m writing these words the morning after one of those nights. Last night I “lost it” on a ref after he called a goal on a shot that never crossed the goal line. And to make matters worse, it happened to be the winning goal in a 2-1 loss, in a game our team needed to win. To say the least, I was feeling very frustrated and upset.

I also confess that I’m not so good with all of this. I don’t always know how to let go of the feelings that come with these type of experiences. I can judge myself for the way I responded to the officials. I can feel guilt and shame; like somehow I didn’t measure up, I didn’t keep my cool in the heat of the moment.

After one of these moments when you feel like the ‘worst’ just came out, what do you do? How do you move forward?

I know for some people, these type of experiences don’t seem to faze them. They say whatever they say and then they move on. I’m not one of those guys. And this leaves me wondering, why did the officiating bother me so much last night? What meaning was I giving to this event that caused me to feel upset?

Unconsciously, there is something deeper going on here. Not just in me, but in you, too.

When someone or something gets under-your-skin and causes you to react in a very strong emotional way, it might be fair to say that there’s an underlying cause for this.

  • Maybe it’s unresolved hurts and pains that have been forced down into the depths of your soul.
  • Perhaps it’s that feeling of being “powerless” in the circumstance you find yourself in.
  • Maybe there are other frustrations in your life, and now they’re finding a way to come to the surface.

What ever the reason, what if these events that seem to bring out the ‘worst’ in us can become catalysts for nurturing personal growth and transformation?

What if rather than feeling trapped in negative self-talk, we take a proactive role in developing self-awareness? What if we extend forgiveness toward ourselves and ask for forgiveness from anyone we may have hurt? What if we allow the light to come into the depths of our soul; knowing that the light of life is love, and love is patient and kind and keeps no record of wrongs?

The next time you find yourself in one of these “morning after” moments, do something you enjoy that will foster self-awareness.

For some of you this might be…

  • journaling
  • going for a hike
  • taking your dog for a walk
  • running
  • cycling
  • gardening
  • drawing
  • playing a musical instrument
  • meditating

What ever you do, let it be something that nurtures your spirit and does not involve eating, drinking or shopping. (These last three are methods we use to ‘comfort’ ourselves  and usually cause us more harm than good.)

Today’s Unitas Project:

The Guest House, by the 13th Century poet and sufi, Rumi.

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Until next time…
Be You. Be Unitas.



Photo via Shutterstock