Friction Forms Frustration

Like sardines in a can.

This saying has mostly negative connotations, because people don’t like to live close to one another. Not that living in cities is bad—a recent study found that city dwellers are generally more affluent than their country counterparts. Also, loneliness is less of an issue in the city, even with all the news about people lying dead in their apartments for weeks. Apparently, it’s much easier to become lonely in smaller communities, where people can become ostracized easily for minor infractions of the status quo.

However, living close together causes a lot of friction. And friction forms frustration. The lady who throws her garbage from her balcony, the neighbor who leaves cigarette butts in the communal staircase. Friction that can lead to tensions and highly volatile situations.

There is a solution for this problem, but it’s a solution that is so well known it has become a cliché:

Keep others in mind.

Really, it’s not that hard. Most aggravating situations are born from laziness and unthinking behavior. Most people realize their actions bother other people, but they just don’t care enough to do something about it. Throwing your garbage from the balcony saves walking a few stairs. Throwing your cigarette butt on the ground costs less effort than putting it in a tin box in your pocket until you can find an ashtray. You’re rid of it, who cares that it becomes somebody else’s problem?

Regardless of right and wrong, this lazy and unthinking behavior can easily lead to a conflict that will cost you more in time and effort than taking a minute to think about your behavior and how it affects those around you.


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