Saturday, August 6, 2011

Choosing

This last week 2 things happened that made me realize how important choosing your reaction really is. Doesn't make sense? It will. Read on bloggers, read on.

Incident #1:
I went to the Taylor Swift concert in DC with Erin, Shaunessy and her friend Melissa. In preparation for Tay, she had two opening bands that we mostly just chatted through and enjoyed as background music. It was then that we noticed this oddly tense woman next to me who was strangely interested in our conversation and was giving me a slight case of "the creeps". As Tay got closer to her performance, a group of people about my age came to sit in front of us and were eagerly chatting and Erin and I remarked, "it will be fun to sit behind them". As soon as Taylor came on they stood up and started dancing. Normal right? Well.... no. We were up in the nosebleeds so standing up was completely unnecessary and because of the family friendly nature of the show, a lot of parents were there with their kids and were happily settled in their seats to watch the show. So these people standing up was somewhat a disturbance. Particularly to me and this woman because they were directly in front of us.
The woman was infuriated. After fuming for a few minutes and her soon urging her to settle down (probably out of embarrassment), she fiercely tapped the girls on the shoulder and demanded they sit down. They retaliated by saying that others were standing, it's a concert and I'm sorry. They were right. The woman however was more mad then ever and was sick of arguing with them and screaming so she just said, "shut up! I don't want to listen to you." She then pestered them the entire show by moving and obnoxiously using body language to make her point. Ugh. How embarrassing. Needless to say, after the show I made it clear to the girls that I was in no way related to that woman.
Incident #2:
At work I am constantly dealing with statements made by 6 year olds like, "she said she wouldn't be my friend!"; "they're being mean to me!"; or "I don't have anyone to play with!" Usually, (actually 95% of the time) it's completely false and dramatized, they're 6! But this particular conversation went above and beyond my usual response of "well play with someone else"; "i'll talk to them"; or "you can just hang out with me". These two girls were having an argument about how Hannah was not playing with Julianna anymore. Hannah claimed she needed a break and Julianna just cried and cried. I tried to explain that Hannah has the right to play with others and Julianna has plenty of other people to play with. But instead, Julianna kept crying and I eventually got sick of trying to nicely make her stop with reason. So I took another approach. I told her that she was choosing to get upset about what was going on and is not even taking into account the endless apologies that Hannah was offering and advice I was giving. She just sat there crying while we were trying to help. I told her that her only choice now was to calm down and decide what she wanted to do because sitting there fighting and crying was ruining everyone's afternoon. She took a few minutes, then stopped crying.

I realized these two long winded stories seem unrelated but, as I compared Julianna and Taylor Swift lady, I realized they weren't all that different. They both chose how they were going to react to a situation that wasn't in their favor. Tay Swift lady decided that once her view was obstructed she would be incredibly rude and outright mean. (imagine how dumb she felt when Tay played, Mean) I however - not to toot my own horn - laughed it off and tilted my head and snickered at the psycho lady next to me. Julianna chose to have her afternoon ruined by sitting there crying and not letting anyone help her. Hannah chose to apologize, try to make it better and when it didn't work, she went to play with her friend Lexi.

Sometimes it's hard to ignore or change the emotional response you have to things but sounds to me like it may be the best thing to do. It's a learning process but what a difference it makes.

1 comment:

  1. it's SO true. some people get so upset at things they have no control over. I'll never understand it.

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