Until yesterday, I was in a bad mood for a week straight. It was exhausting. No matter what I did, I could not shake it.
I am an aggressive person by nature. I know this about myself. I’m argumentative, I’m competitive, and I have a terrible mouth (tell me something I don’t know).
I also believe strongly in the words, “Don’t let them see them see you sweat.” I may not react well to someone telling me to smile (I have the worst resting bitch face you’ve ever seen), but I do gain a sense of inner pride from not letting something—or someone—get under my skin.
Last week, I allowed something to get under my skin, and it’s been nagging at me ever since.
The worst fight I’ve ever been in was in high school. It lasted an entire year, and was with my best friend in the world. I was hot-headed, and give me a break—I was seventeen—and I allowed that fight to carry into other areas of my life.
I previously wrote a post called Don’t spread the bad. The basic premise is this: The brain does not know the difference between an event and your thoughts about it afterward. Every time you focus on a negative experience, you are forcing yourself to relive it. I relived that high school fight for months.
Finally, my two best friends sat me down and said, “Listen. Every time you have a bad day because of this stupid fight, she wins. You are allowing this to negatively affect you, and in that way, you lose—every time.”
After months of being angry, I snapped out of it.
To this day, I don’t understand how two teenagers could have possibly given such damn good advice. Whenever I’m angry, or come home from work spitting fire, I repeat those two sentences in my head.
For what it’s worth, the girl I fought with in high school is, to this day, one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I’m happy I finally wised up and moved the fuck on from our argument. She’s smart, kind, one of the most hilarious people I know, and an amazing person overall.
Other people, are not. Some people really, really suck.
We all have that one token person who gets under our skin. It is not worth your happiness, or your mental energy, focusing on how that person should change. Just let them be a crappy person! You do not gain anything by mentally critiquing how they should live their life.
Dale Carnegie said by mentally focusing on another person, “We are giving them power over us; power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness.”
I am not a good enough person to tolerate someone because it’s the right thing to do. I can, however, tolerate someone because they don’t deserve any more of my mental capacity.
Here’s another way to look at it:
- If someone doesn’t deserve space in your daily life, don’t give them space inside your own head. Prove to yourself they don’t have that hold on you.
- Every time you focus on how another person should change, you are missing out on time and bandwidth to change/better yourself.
- If someone is a miserable person, just let them be miserable. Don’t allow yourself to be miserable with them.
When I finally sat myself down and told myself these three things, I finally snapped out of my bad mood. Just like my two friends made me snap out of being angry in high school.
Whenever you have a bad day because of another person, they win. Every single time.