Don’t Have Another Bad Day

Posted by on Aug 10, 2011 in Personal Development | 6 comments

Is the quality of your day determined by you or others? Think about the last time you were bothered by another person’s action or inaction. When you were affected by someone else’s behavior, how did you feel and how did it affect your day?

When I’m allowing other people’s behavior to affect me, I usually perceive that I’m having a bad day. There are two reasons someone else’s behavior may bother me; either they have done me direct harm, or I anticipate negative consequences from what I think they’re going to do. The truth is, when I take on another person’s negative behavior or attitudes as my own, I’m actually harming myself.

Today I witnessed someone giving up their power over what they incorrectly assumed I was going to do and how it might affect them negatively. I was amazed at how powerful it can be to give up our emotional well being to another person.

This morning city workers were preparing to seal the street outside my house. A group of workers approached me in my yard and told me to move my vehicle from the driveway to a side street. They explained I could not drive on the street after they began work, and I would need to move my vehicle before they started. I explained that I wouldn’t be driving the vehicle today.

A short time later, one of the workers rang my doorbell. The man was extremely agitated and he insisted I move my vehicle. I assured him I understood his concern, and that I wouldn’t be driving on the street today. He stood in my doorway, getting more and more forceful and angry, insisting repeatedly that I move my vehicle because I could not drive on the street until I simply said “thank you” and closed the door.

The man who came to my door was very frustrated and confrontational, even though nothing had happened that might cause him feel this way. I can only believe he anticipated that there would be negative consequences when I attempted to leave my house in my vehicle. He was so intent on his belief this would happen that he didn’t hear me when I told him I wasn’t going to be driving on the street today. He allowed his expectations of my behavior to alter his mood, and possibly even ruin his enjoyment of the day.

As I sat amazed at the intensity of his reaction, I thought about situations in which I allowed what someone else did or didn’t do to negatively affect my day. This leads to feelings of anxiety and frustration, and sometimes I’ve carried the burden of my reaction around with me all day- blaming someone else’s behavior for my state of mind.

You don’t have to take on someone else’s negativity just because they offer it to you. You don’t know what people are going to do, and you don’t know what the consequences of their actions will be. Even if the consequences are negative, you do not have to share the burden of those consequences.

let go

There are times when someone else’s behavior causes actual, rather than anticipated, harm. Even in those situations you can decide how to respond. You can choose to take care of your needs, do your part, and move on with your day, regardless of someone else’s bad behavior.

When you focus on your own behavior and doing the right thing, you can let go of what someone else does or how someone else feels. You can’t enjoy a great life when you’re worrying about everyone else. Even at your best you can’ t make people act and feel the way you want them to, so focus on being and feeling your best for you instead. Take care of you, and do what you can to create a great life.

I love your comments! What helps you let go of other people’s behavior? How do you feel when you do?

Image courtesy of pinelife

6 Comments

  1. Chrysta, aloha. Great story. No doubt it was part of his job to notify people as he did you. Most likely, he has had people say they wouldn’t be leaving and then they wanted to leave later. The result was that he and his workers heard verbal abuse, were reported or reprimanded. He was checking items of his “to do” list.

    Unfortunately, because of past experiences, his beliefs were so strong, he did not hear you. Likely he grumbled a bit about you thus causing a downward escalation of his day.

    What I do to let go of other people’s behavior is what I did above–understand why I think they are behaving as they are. When I do that, it is much easier to let it go. After all, what other people do or think is none of my business.

    When I complete the process, Chrysta, I feel free.

    As we know, we can only control our thoughts and actions. Since that’s a full time “job,” I definitely do not want to take on anyone else’s,

    Best wishes for a terrific day, Chrysta. Until next time, aloha. Janet

    • Lovely to see your comments, as always, Janet!

      I agree the street workers had likely experienced abuse from homeowners in the past and that is very unfortunate. It was a great reminder to me that just because something happened before doesn’t mean it will happen again.

      It was also a great reminder to me to truly engage and listen to what someone else has to say. How differently this young man’s day could have been if he’d been open to hearing me say I wasn’t going to be driving on the street that day!

      It was such an awakening experience to witness someone giving away their peace of mind so easily, even as I was unwilling to take his power away from him, he kept trying to hand it to me. I know I will think of this situation the next time I start to blame someone else for my problems, and doing so will snap me out of it. :)

      Namaste,
      Chrysta

  2. Great reminder. This reminds me of the song of Michael Jackson. “‘m starting with the man in the mirror”. The only person you can change it yourself. And the choice is ours to decide how to respond.

    • Thank you for your comment, Nancy! I love that you used a song to represent the idea behind my blog entry, it just goes to show inspiration is all around us when we choose to see it.

      Namaste,
      Chrysta

  3. Your so very right. If someone feels pessimistic, that doesn’t have to RUIN my day or the day of anyone. I choose to be optimistic. I choose care help, love and care. I choose to be positive and dream big and work extremely hard with faith. This is what I choose to do. And I believe we are all here to live, love, life and work our tails off.

    • I love your attitude, Jonathan. You are an inspiration!

      It is so easy to take on the attitude or behaviors that other people present to me (that goes for positive behaviors, too), and I life my best life when I recognize I don’t have to mirror what’s in front of me. I can take what I like and leave the rest. I can live and let live. What a beautiful freedom!

      Thank you for your comment! Have a grateful day!

      Chrysta

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