A good example would be the workplace. People constantly bitch about those who do not pick up after themselves (especially in the kitchen), those who do not leave common areas neat and tidy, and people who have no bathroom manners. I find it humorous how worked up some people get about these things. My thinking is that there are over 50 people at my work; there is no way that all 50+ are going to be courteous, neat, and tidy. NO WAY. I don’t care how many signs you post, how many times you send out an email, etc… not everyone is going to abide. So what is the point in getting upset? There is no point. It’s common sense that not everyone is going to behave in the “correct” way. It takes less time to clean up the mess or refill the water bottle than it does to get angry. First of all, you will never know who the culprit is unless you waste even more time spying. So why bother getting worked up about it? An alternative would be to shake your head and think, “I don’t understand some people” and then let it go. It’s so much easier that way.
That is one example of calming myself down. Of course, that’s a lot easier to do when dealing with a big group of people. One on one is a bit different because now you’re just dealing with one person’s behavior and not a mysterious few out of a large sum. What I have learned to do in these types of cases is NOT change my behavior. I’m usually pretty punctual but have a lot of friends that aren’t. Well, if it’s dinner plans we have and they’re late and I’m hungry…I go ahead and eat. I don’t get mad but I also don’t wait. If I were to wait I’d probably get upset and that’s not cool. So instead of sitting there hungry and pissy I go ahead with the plans and begin to eat. I do this with other things too. The trick here is to continue on without getting upset. So when they finally show up you shouldn’t say “Well it’s about time. I was starving so I started without out” coldly with a smirk on your face. This will come off as rude and vengeful. Instead, say “Oh hey! No worry about being late, it happens. I was really hungry though so I hope you don’t mind that I started without you.” I have never gotten a negative response to this.
Basically what I’m saying is, don’t change who you are. If a dirty microwave bothers you and you see at work it’s filthy…clean it. Don’t go into a rage about how unfair and messed up it is that someone left it like that. And don’t protest to clean it since you didn’t make the mess. Just clean it. And if a dirty microwave doesn’t bother you then put your food in and hit Start. Likewise, don’t change your plans and demeanor based on others’ actions. If you’re tired of waiting because someone else is holding up the plans, then go on without them but remember to stay pleasant about it. Don’t get upset…just do it knowing that they’ll understand. And it’s okay to apologize for it but do so in a way that let’s them know that you weren’t trying to “get back at them” but rather you were simply trying to stay on schedule so you wouldn’t get upset.
It really is simple. Don’t get upset AND be yourself. That’s really all it takes. I have to remind myself a lot but when I do remember I find myself much happier and more at peace overall.