You can learn a lot about a person’s character by standing next to them in a long deli line, two days before Christmas. By standing behind them in the checkout line the day before a big snow storm, when the cashier accidently scans something twice and needs an override. Also by being the car in front of them on a day they woke up twenty minutes late for work.
I’ve always been the type of person who observes more than I speak. I’m a people watcher (in the least creepy way possible). I choose the people I surround myself with carefully. I observe them when it comes to the little things because the little things, well, they matter to me, I’ve chosen lovers, friends, favorite bosses and coworkers, all over the little things.
Do they return their shopping cart or do they just leave it stranded in the parking lot? How do they treat the lady behind the counter at the DMV after waiting in line for two hours, do they acknowledge the waitress before spatting out that they want a diet coke, do they get angry with the cop who just, rightfully, pulled them over for doing double the speed limit? What tone of voice do they use when speaking to their Grandmother? Do they take their dog for walks and do they despise littering? I hope so. These are just a few questions I ask myself before deciding whether or not someone is my kind of human.
We all have our bad days. Sometimes we say things we don’t mean or act out in such a way that once we have later calmed down, we are completely embarrassed of. I have been that person who has been completely frustrated over something and took it out on someone else. I have also been the person who has had to feel the wrath of a completely frustrated person. Both stink.
I’m saying all this to encourage you to really think about what you say before you say it and really think about what you do, before you do it. People are going to form opinions of you based on your bad days. For some people, they will only ever come in contact with you on that one day, that day you were frustrated and took it out on them; they will chalk you up as a shitty person and move on with their lives, leaving you without a chance to ever redeem yourself in their eyes.
If that’s not who you are, and that’s not the impression you want others to have of you, refrain from speaking when you’re angry. Things like traffic, waiting in line, being a few minutes late to work, they are not good reasons to be angry, they are simply inconveniences, you let yourself get angry about things such as them and you will be angry all your life. I hope you’ll work on being more patient, being more kind, and being gentler with yourself and others, I hope you’ll teach your children to do the same.