Irrational irritability: 'I've found myself tut-tutting at people who come too close to me on my daily walks'

Life under lockdown is testing Niamh Ennis's patience 

One of the things that I’m learning really fast, during this period of lockdown, is exactly what it is that irks me, what it is that has the potential to get my blood pressure up and in record speed too!

Because let’s be honest, with all the restrictions being put on us, not to mention the added worries we are all carrying around with us, our ability to be patient is being tested. I know mine is.

I am that soldier tut-tutting and huffing as people come too close to me on my daily walks and have found myself throwing the odd judgemental glare in the direction of those I meet out running in the mornings, who I know are not from the same household. When you know, you just know... am I right?

And I’ve not limited my triggers to real life! Oh no, even people online are able to get to me these days. Like answer me this. Why is it necessary to share every. single. wedding photo from your album just because you are celebrating a wedding anniversary during lockdown? I don’t even subject my family and friends to these.

Thankfully, I am learning just how to use the mute button and realising, pretty quickly, that when I am not allowing them into my energy field, things feel a lot calmer. I was a lot calmer.

I can, at times, be a little, let’s say, fixed in my ideas and opinions

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and pretend that I am someone who is normally chilled and laidback, as that would be just saying stuff to suit my own narrative. I can, at times, be a little, let’s say, fixed in my ideas and opinions, although I prefer to describe it more as ‘I know what I like and I know what I don’t’.

For example, I don’t like people being fake. I don’t like them saying one thing to me and another to someone else. I really don’t like them being economical with the truth, or indeed trying to convince me that they are something they are not. I don’t like people who filter what they say, before they say it, so that it matches popular opinion above all else.

Now, inevitably, you get, and you see, a lot of this on social media. It is almost as if Instagram was designed to attract those who want to portray a life that is not entirely real. But honestly that’s okay. I get that. Before I log on each day, I almost know now what to expect and how to evaluate the levels of realness or sincerity. Instagram itself has never pretended to do or be something it’s not!

In some ways, I almost accept that for many people they need to be able to escape from all the current doom and gloom, and hide behind their own little ‘pretend’ world. We all do what we must to get through these odd times.

But what is really irking me beyond reason, triggering me violently, is the ever increasing number of influencers, coaches and mentors who I see are thriving on spreading fear.

Now, whether you subscribe to the belief that 5G is responsible for the spread of coronavirus or that the governments of the world are plotting to bring about a scenario to control us by forcing us to receive vaccination injections is entirely your own business. And yet, that’s just it, your business. Believe what you want, read what you want, watch what you want.

Conspiracy theories can be amusing, entertaining even. We all have our favourites from ‘who shot JFK?’ to  ‘did Neil Armstrong actually land on the moon?’.

But at a time when so many people are already feeling scared, worried and extremely nervous about what tomorrow, or next week, holds for them and their families, I have to ask, is it really appropriate to add layers to their fear by pushing on with spreading these theories?

I know that there are some who will argue that our governments need to be held accountable, especially in times of crisis, when people’s defences are lowered and they are looking for leadership. I agree with this. I agree that questioning is always healthy. That there is no room for complacency, ever, as we should be constantly monitoring how the most vulnerable in our society are being minded and protected by those in charge.

If you believe your calling is to inspire and educate others then I would urge you to do so responsibly.

But what I do object to is those with large followings on social media, spreading the fear, in an irresponsible manner using phrases like ‘I’ve been educating myself and you should too’. It feels condescending, it feels patronising and it definitely does not feel educational. If you believe your calling is to inspire and educate others then I would urge you to do so responsibly.


Timing is everything and when things start to slowly resemble some sort of normality, then by all means, use your platform at that stage to encourage people to make up their own minds. Direct them to the resources you recommend but just stop telling them now that they should be afraid when they already have so much to be scared about.

I cannot say, with any certainty, whether any of these theories are true or false. All I can say is that it is not helpful to add to the amount of things people have to be fearful about right now so please just be mindful of that.

I’ve muted those in my social media circle who are doing this. But by muting them, I know it just means that I won’t see and hear them, but others will. It is my way of keeping my energy clear of what I believe, right now, is scaremongering.

I urge you to do the same and if you find you are guilty perhaps of adding to someone else’s fear right now, I invite you to think about it, think about the timing of this and ask yourself ‘can this wait?’. Then wait.

Remember, hope is the one thing stronger than fear and once you choose hope, anything is possible.

Niamh Ennis is Ireland’s leading Transformation Coach, working with women who are looking now to make significant changes in their lives while adapting to our new reality.

She is hosting her next free online workshop ‘Don't Dim To Fit In’ on May 22nd 2000. Click here to register or visit,

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