Well, maybe you never had that experience. I did. And I know someone else who did, but in this case it was someone who found a cure for it. We'll call her Alice.
Alice's brother liked to tickle her silly, having discovered that she hated it. At first she did what any sane child would do: she fought and kicked and bit and hollered for Mother. This delighted her brother no end. Having found a new and rewarding hobby, he persisted in his attacks.
But one day the victim decided to engage in self help. She made up her mind she would put an end to the torture. How? She decided she would refuse to respond. And sure enough, the next time her brother initiated a ticklefest, she remained mute and unmoving, still as a statue. Needless to say, he went away deeply unhappy.
Of course, he didn't immediately give up. He returned later that day and tried again. Once again, Alice steeled herself to remain perfectly impassive. Her brother stomped off in a huff, feeling thoroughly baffled.
Four more times he attempted to undo his sister's stone-faced demeanor. Four times he failed. After that, he lost all interest in tickling as a sport and never bothered his sister again.
Alice had won.
That's discipline. That's true grit. And it's a great lesson for all of us on how to meet the dings and splats in life that annoy us, rattle us, drive us nuts. The self help lesson is: Stop responding. Whatever is bugging you, give up the luxury of hating it.
Hatred is an energy with strong fingers; it can hold onto the objects of its fancy for dear life. So if you don't want to attract a dismal situation over and over and over again, quit hating it. Enlist the power of neutrality instead. Blanket it with good will. Douse it with compassion -- it will lose interest in you in short order.
One word of warning: I'm not talking about being a fake. When I say don't react, I don't mean swallow your suffering and paste a slick smile on your face. I mean reach in and tap your inner courage. It's there! When Alice decided to ward off her brother's tickling, she dipped deep inside herself and found the inner force that overrode her instinct to squeal.
So that's what I mean: Employ some of that same discipline to remain unmoved by whatever is tickling your buttons. When you see you are slipping off center, take a break. Get quiet. Take a trip to the calm spot inside.
You have, we all have, a place of Peace within us, whose waters are never shut down. Go there. Borrow from it. Refuse to cave; refuse to slide into blind reaction. Whatever it is that is stirring you up will eventually get tired of no payoff and leave you alone. No kidding.
Of course, you could just keep on fussing and fuming over life's details. You'll be miserable, but maybe they'll book you on Oprah.