We have all had those days. They probably crop up more often than we care to think of. We are in a rush and the universe seems to be against us because of it. We needed to be out of the door ten minutes ago but our children are still deciding what colour socks they feel like wearing today or are refusing to put their coat on. The traffic is much worse than usual and every other driver doesn’t seem to know the rules of the road. Perhaps you get the train and and you can’t find a seat. Now the man with a horrid lurgy is standing far too close for your liking and doesn’t understand the basic rules of hygiene when coughing on a packed tube.
I could give examples of millions of scenarios like this.
You opted for the self scanner for a quicker and easier life but it doesn’t recognise any of your fifteen items.
How about that moody check out girl or barista that seems to have no customer service skills.
Some of these scenarios can’t be helped and aren’t controlled by human decision or behaviour (i.e. the damn self scanner!) but a lot of our grievances actually are caused by other people if we look at it.
Drivers we deem unfit to own a car let alone drive one. Moody people in customer service. Mum cliques who make us feel a bit left out. Patronising work colleagues.
All of these situations can badly affect our day and our mood.
How many of us are guilty at stressing at other members of the public because we don’t feel they are conforming to the behaviour we were expecting them to? I am 100% guilty of this especially when driving. But notice I say the behaviour WE expect others to conform to. We get angry because these other people aren’t behaving how WE expect that they should.
We have no clue to that persons background or anything that they are going through in their life. Have any of you ever had an awful day or been going through a hard time and just not been in the mood to be chatty with a cashier or even a co-worker?
Maybe that person isn’t driving very well today because they are on unfamiliar roads and are looking for where they need to turn off next or trying to figure out the junction ahead (because lets face it not all road signage makes every junction clear) or because they have screaming kids in the back or they are sleep deprived with a new baby and want to take their time.
Perhaps that check out girl has just found out her hours are being changed or cut or has just had a row with her friend. Maybe she has just lost a loved one.
We all have reasons for not being chirpy especially to strangers be it that overdue bill we are stressing about paying to just generally being shy dealing with people we don’t know. We have all heard that saying:
‘Everyone you meet is fighting a secret battle you know nothing about, be kind always.’
We all need to live by this quote so much more.
Don’t judge someone who doesn’t say thank you if you keep the door open for them or if the barista in the coffee shop isn’t as talkative as you’re trying to be. Don’t pillage that driver for making an error of judgement or the commuter on the train for pushing into you when it’s crowded.
We all have off days. We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect. We need to remember that.
By actually stopping and taking five or ten seconds to breathe when we are feeling tense or stressed or as if we are going to get angry we are improving both our physical and emotional health. Flying off the handle at somebody helps no one.
Facing every scenario with a positive mindset and not stressing eventually rubs off and becomes the norm. You will find yourself stressing less and being positive more. You will find yourself not judging people or getting frustrated with others mistakes or attitudes.
What do we really need to stress about anyway? If you are late to work at least you got there OK. Even if you pay a bill late, yes it isn’t ideal but contacting them and keeping them up to date with your situation and dealing with the issue positively is better than needless worrying and stress.
What does stress and worry achieve anyway? Absolutely nothing.
But being kinder and more understanding of others goes a long way.