Life is hard, and often times, we as individuals, make it even harder. We focus on the bad things that happen throughout our day – the teenage prick who cut us off at the intersection and made us miss our green light, the cashier who yelled at us for trying to use an expired coupon that we didn’t know was expired, our boss who rolled his eyes at us when we walked into work five minutes late when HE comes in twenty minutes late every morning. It’s these small, insignificant moments that we often let dictate our lives. And why? Because they’re miserable moments and misery loves its’ company.
The truth is that none of us will ever have a perfect day – not by traditional standards.
There will always be someone who does something that directly hinders our daily routine; their choices will infringe our own; their mannerisms will cause us to roll our eyes, sigh sarcastically and get into an awkward, screaming contest as we stand in line at the post office. These things are what make up a day in the life, but it is our responses to them that make the best out of every situation.
Let’s say for example, that you clock in at work, and your boss is in a mood. You go in to let him know that someone was looking for them, and while you’re talking, his rattles off to you, “I already know that.” His tone is backward, his body language is so repulsive that he’s practically banning you from his office. You easily get annoyed, because you were only trying to be nice and polite. Better not make that mistake again!
Now if you’re one of two people – one of you will get angry by this. His inappropriate remark will make you bitter and every time he walks down the hallway, you sigh indifferently and mentally curse him out. Your blood boils, and you’re hot for the remainder of the day. So when the teenage prick cuts you off at the light and you have to sit at the light for five more minutes, you scream, lay on your horn, and sit in rage until the light turns green and you gun it. You get home, kick your shoes off, scoff at your dirty apartment – how the dishes are never put away in the cabinet directly. Your partner comes home, and you scream at his idiocy because of how he puts the dishes away, and you get into a fight, you attacked him for no reason, other than you’re mad at how you were treated at 10:00am that morning.
If that sounds like you – don’t feel too bad; that’s all of us at one time or another. But, there’s another way to deal with that kind of situation, and ultimately turn your day around.
And the solution is simple: stand up for yourself.
Half the time a situation happens that directly influences us, hurts our feelings, makes us feel uncomfortable and lingers throughout our day, is because we let it happen. So when your boss replies to you indifferently, be polite, be professional, and let him know that you don’t appreciate being spoken to that way. When the woman cuts in front of you at line, kindly say to her, “Excuse me, I’m next in line, you cut in front of me.” More than half of the time, our calm responses to a difficult situation can completely alter the situation in the first place.
And in those instances when your calm, rational approach doesn’t work, take a deep, calming breath, and let it go. Think about what you’re angry about and compare it to the bigger picture. Is being angry at the guy who cut you off at the supermarket worth you sacrificing a relaxing evening watching Golden Girl reruns with your husband on the couch? If the answer is no, (and it always will be) then put the bad moment in the back of your mind and think about it at a time when you’ll need to remember it. The good part about that?
You’ll never, ever, need to remember it.
Life is all about your emotional response to a situation. Remember, in order to live a happy life, you need to make choices that will coincide with those goals. Life is too short. Your fuse shouldn’t be either.