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Rude. People.

It's moving week for us!

I've never been so happy about having 992 things to do: things to pick up, drop off, calls to make, forms to fill out... oh and the packing unpacking thing!

This past weekend, I ran into a little store down the road from home to pick up some things including beer, so my husband and his band of friends can keep their whistles wet while they worked on a project. 

As I stuck my head in the store cooler to grab the one box of Miller Light in sight, I realized this amount would not sustain the thirsty group. So, I walked over to a clerk checking out a customer and asked if they sold 30 packs thinking there might be another spot they kept them. 

She slowly turned her head toward me with the hairy eyeball in full effect and said "good morning, mam...How are yooou today?"

Taken aback at her bold and outright irritation with me, I think I let my jaw fly open a little. But, I ignored the question and, again, repeated my 30 pack question.... and, she proceeded to ask me the same thing. As though we couldn't move forward with any other info exchanges without clearing this burning question up.

Eventually, I managed to learn that what they have in the case is what they have for sale. Simple enough. Moving on.

As I moved on making my purchases I had to really decipher who I would be in the face of this circumstance.  Should I walk out and not buy anything else?  But that's not what I wanted to do. Unfortunately that's the reaction that is most familiar for me, however. But I just wanted to buy my things and head on with my happy busy Saturday. Not give this another thought. Not let this episode deter my shopping frequency here or me being anything outside of normal around this unhappy person. I like swinging in here to pick up things occasionally.

No one is "making me" stop doing that. 

Here's the thing about adults: we get to behave and think whatever we want to. And to that end, no one else's behavior dictates mine. It won't dictate the trajectory of my day or my shopping patterns there. Nope. 

My thoughts control my feelings. 

Her anger, irritation or whatever is from her thoughts.

In these moments, I like to say mentally "that is their model. I have mine". It can be tempting to react defensively or behave rudely back to someone in a moment like this. But instead of letting my tinge of irritation take over, I allow it to pass on: without reacting to, avoiding or rejecting it. 

Because I am a nerd, I came up with a make belief "thought model" for her of this moment: 

  • Circumstance: Customer (that's me) looking in beer cooler asks "do you sell 30 packs?" while I'm checking out another customer
  • Thought: "this rude heathen does not know how to properly address someone or wait her turn!"
  • Feeling: indignant
  • Actions:
    • move to respond deliberately slow
    • asks inappropriate/condescending question back to her "how are you doing today?" (This is the question she should be greeting people with 
  • Result: she is rude using the "proper" formal greeting 

This is her result. Not mine. She thinks I'm rude to her. She ends up being rude to me. Our results always reflect our thoughts. 

So if I act rude too, what does that get us?

Two rude people.

Creating more rudeness in the world. 

Eww.

I'll pass.

I don't have to get my model tangled into the rudeness web, too.

Being in anger and irritation doesn't feel nearly as good as being in the happy and grateful emotions of a women seeking large quantities of beer and who is about to move into her fab new home. Rudy-ruder-ton gets to keep her indignant and angry model. It only seems like a powerful justified place to be in her mind. In reality, I'm the powerful one.

What feels better? Anger or joy?

Emotions are simply sensations in our bodies. Angry ones aren't gestures of power or actually punishing to others. You're the only one that can feel your anger. Others can observe you reacting or taking action motivated by it. But it's yours. 

Your thought causes your feelings. My thoughts cause my feelings. 

(To read more on having a manual of expectations for others, click here)

If you don't like feeling angry and much prefer happy, then change the way you think.

If you are having trouble taking lead of your own emotional state, I'd love to help! I'm accepting one on one clients, click here to set up a complimentary session. 

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