Dealing with frustration

Peaceful Dove (Geopelia placida)

Image by Lip Kee via Flickr

Scenario: You are in a line at the supermarket checkout, the cashier is working slowly but methodically, she is smiling and friendly to all her customers but you have better things to do with you time than wait to pay for food that is overpriced anyway. You become annoyed. You will make sure that your attitude reflects your annoyance when it is your turn to be waited on. You will ignore her smiles and you will tap your foot to show your impatience. You will look around you to those behind you in line to gain feedback that they also are becoming frustrated and that they will follow your lead in showing their displeasure. The girl will finally stop smiling, put her head down and start ringing the goods through faster. Efficiency will win. Her job is now more miserable and the service she was providing with a smile has vanished. Is this our desired result?

Let’s re-evaluate. You are in line, you see the same scenario, but this time you decide to react in  a positive manner. The time spent in line is probably about 5 minutes, take this time to breathe, think and pause. The cashier is very attentive to her customers, she makes sure everything is correctly priced and is handling the goods with care and respect. This takes a little more time, but it’s worth it. Her smile may be the only one some of her customers get that day. Those who live alone and only venture to the grocery store may value that interaction. It has no value to you, but should you take that gift away from those who need it? Perhaps your own frustrations are causing you to find this moment annoying, when in fact it should be an appreciation of someone taking the time to do their job well. Show appreciation. Smile, say thank you.

Task: The next frustrating moment you experience can be handled in the same way. It could be that the flowers that you just HAD to have for your wedding are not in season for the time frame, is it worth being upset about it, or would it be easier to just re-evaluate your wants and translating them into alternatives. That one bridesmaid who looks dreadful in the dress you chose for them, should you be mad at her for being overweight or having the wrong skin tone when everyone else looks great? Adapt and create a stunning wedding by being calm and smiling. Make changes, decide what is really valuable to you. Love, respect, and celebration. If the gift is a plain rock wrapped up in peacock feathers you may devalue the gift, but if what you need is an anchor, the feathers won’t help you.

 

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