Back to Back Issues Page
How to Stop Being Irritated
October 01, 2005

Midlife Wisdom For Men Issue #043, September 30, 2005

=========== TABLE OF CONTENTS ==========

∑ How To Stop Being Irritated

∑ Here Honey, Smear On Some Grapefruit, You'll Smell Younger

∑ Book Review: The Secret Life Of Men


Written by Noel McNaughton (c) copyright 2005


If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favour and forward it to him. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting Midlife Wisdom for Men.


Welcome to this issue of Midlife Wisdom for Men.

I got an email from a woman not long ago, who wondered what to do about her husband's irritability. She said he used to be such a nice guy, and now she feels as though she is living with an angry brick. Have you been feeling more irritable lately? Most midlife men do. The article below might help you manage it.

Hope you find this newsletter interesting and useful.

There are about 1254 words in the articles in this newsletter, which may take about five minutes to read.



How To Stop Being Irritated

One thing I noticed around age fifty was that I started having sudden flashes of irritation when little things went wrong. This was new to me, and judging from what I hear from other men, and more particularly their wives, I am not alone in becoming irritable at midlife. I do not like being so easily irritated, and I know the people around me don't enjoy it either, so I have learned a technique to minimize it.

Let's start with a bit of esoteric thinking...

When we are newborn, we do not have opinions about things. We simply react to feelings of hunger, being wet, and other discomforts. As we get older, we begin to notice we are separate from other people and objects, and we attach, or project, meanings on to the people and things in our environment. (Mommy and Daddy are 'good', spinach is 'bad', etc.)

We then interpret events, situations, and peoples' actions according to the meanings we have given them, and then react emotionally to our interpretations.

In other words, situations and events just 'are', and we react emotionally to our interpretations of them, rather than to the situations themselves. (I told you this was going to be a bit esoteric.)

Here is an example. I have two older friends who have Alzheimers. Both are aware they have it, and of course neither can do anything about it. One accepts his condition with equanimity, and his days are pretty much ok, all things considered. The other is angry, and rages against it, so he spends most of his time feeling grumpy, and his days aren't much fun for him or anybody around him. Now, to the more practical stuff.

Dmitri Bilgere is a trainer, New Warrior, and wise fellow, who I recently received an email from about overcoming irritation. It jibes with my own experience, but he said it so well I am simply going to quote him:

Resisting life the way it is -- stressful as that behavior is -- is mostly a matter of habit. You resist life because you are USED TO resisting life. That's good news, actually, because it makes it surprisingly easy to get past a lot of that resistance.

Here's how you do it:

1) NOTICE the resistance you have to anything in your life. It might be a specific event, or a minor irritant. It might be a person's behavior, or any limitation you perceive in life.

2) WELCOME the resistance. This step is key. Most people resist their own resistance. You probably try to distance yourself from your resistance, or immediately see it as a problem. When you reject your resistance to life, irritation is not far behind.

Feel the sensation of resisting, somewhere in your body. Honor it. Imagine putting your arms around it and holding it to you. Enfold and accept it, rather than rejecting it or pushing it away.

This second step is where you "own your shadow." You admit to yourself that you are resisting the way that life is, and you are accepting and loving that resisting aspect of yourself. Often this step alone is enough to dispel any irritation you might be feeling.

3) LET GO of the resistance. Most people tighten up and "lock down" when they are resisting something. But you actually have the opportunity, and the ability, to do just the opposite.

In this third step you feel your resistance, as if you are holding it in your arms -- and then open your arms and let it go. You decide to NOT resist the way life is, if only for a moment.

You'll feel the sense of relaxation that comes from allowing your life to be the way it is, without resistance. It's a good feeling.

The cool thing is, when you let go of your resistance to the way your life is, it is actually EASIER to make changes. You have more flexibility and it's easier to think "outside the box." You'll come up with better, more innovative solutions, because your mind will be freed up. You won't be irritated and impatient.

SO...the next time traffic is going slowly, don't just resist it and get irritated. Notice your resistance, welcome it, and risk letting it go.

The next time your computer isn't working properly, rather than resisting it and getting irritated, notice your resistance. Welcome it. And let go of it.

And the next time the microwave oven is taking "too long" to cook your burrito, don't just resist and get irritated. Notice your resistance, welcome it, and let it go.

This simple process can make a big difference in everything from how your day goes, to whether there will be any nooky tonight (irritable men are not all that attractive to the ladies). If you try this, let me know how it works out. (


Why are women wearing perfumes that smell like flowers? Men don't like flowers. I've been wearing a great scent. It's called New Car Interior. - Rita Rudner


Here Honey, Smear On Some Grapefruit, You'll Smell Younger

Rita Rudner may find New Car Interior effective in attracting the hotties, but a study by the Smell and Taste Institute in Chicago found grapefruit was pretty potent too. Researcher Alan Hirsch smeared several middle-aged woman with broccoli, banana, spearmint leaves, and lavender (don't ask me how he got them to submit to this), but none of those scents made a difference to the men.

But the scent of grapefruit... now that was a different matter. Hirsch found that when male volunteers were asked to write down how old a woman with grapefruit odour was, the age they guessed was considerably less than reality - six years younger in fact.

So... want to get it on with a younger woman? Just smear your wife with grapefruit before you go to bed.


Always live within your income, even if you have to borrow money to do so. - Josh Billings


Interesting Book: The Secret Life Of Men

by Steve Biddulph, Marlowe & Company, 1994, 1995, 2003

I am in the middle of reading this book, and am finding it interesting and useful. Rather than write my own review, here is the blurb from the site, that sums it up pretty well:

"Most men donít have a life," writes Steve Biddulph. "Instead, we have an act, an outer show, kept up for protection." And so begins The Secret Life of Men, one of the most compelling and honest looks at the role of men in modern society and the hidden, deep-seated unhappiness that millions of men around the world share. Based on his professional work with menís groups and couples as well as his own personal experience, Biddulph provides a clear and practical roadmap that helps men break free from societyís outdated and often crippling mold and change their lives for the better. Using stories, humor, and refreshing candor, Biddulph opens new pathways for men to healing the past, forming true partnerships with women, and honoring their own inner needs. He tackles all the key areas of a manís life, including:

The father-son relationship Men and women Sexuality Being a real father Real male friends Finding a job with heart

The Secret Life of Men offers hope for a brighter, happier future, one where men are able to wholeheartedly connect with their family, their community, and their own exuberant, noisy, loving, true selves. Filled with insight and useful advice, this book is essential reading for every man whoís ever wondered "Isnít there something more out there for me?" and the woman who loves and wants to understand him.


Two rules to success in life: 1. Don't tell everything you know. - Unknown


Got your copy of Picking Up The Burning Feather yet? It will help you on your spiritual journey.

Just go to Picking Up The Burning Feather: A Spiritual Guide For Midlife Men.

============================================== ************************************************

Just For You: A Free Do-It-Yourself Retirement Planning Report

If you are a new subscriber to this newsletter, you will recall I promised you a link to a secret page on the Midlife Men's site where you can download a free 27-page report on 'DIY Retirement planning' by George Slater.

Welcome to the newsletter, and for your free report, go to: DIY Retirement E-Report , and follow the instructions.



Learn to be a Teleclass Facilitator

If you are a facilitator/speaker/professional who gives lectures or workshops, you can do it from home and make money. Teleclasses (also known as teleseminars) using telephone bridge lines, are becoming increasingly popular, and and a very inexpensive way to deliver high-quality training. I took training in teleclass leadership from Teleclass International which I highly recommend.



A Destroyer of Compasses by Wade Bell, published by Guernica Editions, (Toronto, Buffalo and Lancaster UK) $15.00 Cdn

One Man's Mid-Life Crisis Led to Spain. Planning to spend six weeks, he stayed five years.

A book of stories the Toronto Globe & Mail called "an assured and sensual portrait of a culture" with "precise and ironic examples of human idiosyncracy." The review went on to call stories "gems."

Available from Amazon, E-Bay and local bookstores.

I Need Your Questions and Feedback!

Got comments? Questions? I'd love to hear from you.

Just email your suggestions and/or questions to . I look forward to hearing from you. And thanks.


Well friend, that's it for now. Again, if you enjoyed this and/or found it useful, and know of anyone else who might like it, please pass it forward. And if you have questions or recommendations, I would love to hear from you.

All the best, Noel

Back to Back Issues Page