When we’re in pain or feeling like total shit about ourselves (which seems like 6.3 days out of the week lately for some of us – can I get an “amen”?), we tend to project or displace these feelings onto those around us. Without making a conscious effort to mitigate such destructive defense mechanisms, you can quickly transform into a brow-furrowed hunchback who sits in the corner of the bar making snide comments about anything and anyone that catches your eye. So if first channeling your inner Gandhi fails, try these things to soften your ever-hardening heart from the increasingly easy-to-hate-on world around you:
1. Stop Judging your Friends for Getting Married or Having Babies
I’m not a hater, nor do I wish to propagate hate, but isn’t this just the worst?
Facebook is increasingly inundated by photos of ivory gowns and binkies and the fun-loving people you used to know are now ghosts of albums past. Some people want a married-at-19, child-by-20 life and while that’s the exact last thing that would make me happy at this moment, that’s their prerogative! Accept that though it may not be your style, they’re doing what makes them happy (we hope).
2. Block Someone’s Number
That new iOS 7 update wasn’t just good for the pretty graphics and new alarm clock sounds, though those are great considering that I once accidentally set my alarm to “Crickets” and consequently questioned whoever decided those melodic creatures would actually wake someone up. It now enables iPhone users to block numbers. That person that calls you to complain about A-Z and never stops long enough to see if you’re even still there? Block her. Yeah, it’s probably a “her.”
3. Buy Happiness
Retail therapy is real. The temporary buzz from buying new, albeit cheap clothing has the power to prevent a brawl when someone inevitably bullies you into the dreaded Sidewalk Salsa, for example.
To those of you unfamiliar with the term: Sidewalk Salsa is a dance of the indigenous metropolitan inhabitants of North America characterized by an unattractive back-and-forth motion which transpires when two or more people cannot decide whether to go right or left when walking past one another on the street. (Hint: it’s like driving, people: GO RIGHT.)
4. Draft a Text
Start a blank text with a specific person in mind but with no recipient entered. Write up exactly what you want to say to that person in that moment.
If it’s in anyway cruel, do NOT send it.
This is simply a form of catharsis for the modern age because it simulates what you actually want to say in a way you’re familiar communicating those feelings. Conversely, try drafting a text to someone you have major feelings for and – this time – actually send it. Worked for me – I told the guy I worked with I liked him as “more than a friend” and was okay with the fact that at the very least, it would flatter him. This is best done under the influence of only enough alcohol to inspire the truth but not so much that it is polluted with typographical/grammatical errors. You will not only have made their day (because who doesn’t like to hear they are adored) but you’ll be infused with confidence that will last even longer.
5. Take a Shower
Okay, I can’t be the only person that feels ten pounds lighter and magnitudes more attractive after a good old-fashioned scrub down. You will look and feel better which will in turn make you a much more pleasant (smelling and otherwise) person.