Managing a Bad Day — (Speak Happiness replay from 4/29/13)

We all have bad days.

We all have bad things that happen in the middle of a perfectly good day that turn it into a bad day.
What we need to do is make sure we aren’t the main reason a bad day gets worse.

Let me share with you the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen a person do in real life.
(I’ve seen a lot worse on YouTube, but this is one I was present for.)

I was sitting outside at Starbucks and a young woman came out with her frozen coffee beverage and discovered that she had a parking ticket.

For those not in Los Angeles, let me explain that parking tickets here are $68.00 or more.  It’s brutal.

But this girl saw the ticket on her car, screamed (which made us all stare at her), then…I’m not making this up…threw her frozen coffee beverage at the ticket.

So now, she still had a parking ticket.  She did not have the $4.00 drink she had just paid for, which was the reason she got the ticket in the first place, and she had frozen coffee beverage all over her windshield.

It’s easy to laugh at that, but ask yourself, what do I do to make my own bad days worse? Do I pick a fight with my spouse?  Snap at my boss?  Say something mean to one of my kids?  Do I drive like a maniac?  Do I eat an entire cheesecake? What’s my “coffee on the windshield?”

And next time you’re having a bad day, stop.  Recognize your rotten mood.  Change your circumstances if you can, and if you can’t, commit to yourself to get through it without throwing a frozen beverage at a parking ticket.

Your bad day will get a lot better the sooner you stop making it worse.

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2 thoughts on “Managing a Bad Day — (Speak Happiness replay from 4/29/13)

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    Every once in a while I get a day in which I feel like chewing nails and spitting them at someone. Fortunately, it isn’t frequent!

    But you can do a lot of damage to relationships on those days, if you’re not careful, so I either avoid the loved ones until I figure it out, or tell them flat out, “I’m having a bad day, and I don’t want to deal with people right now.”

    After fair warning, if possible, I go figure out why. I can’t afford much in the way of emotional response and adrenaline – so I either write or think it out. For some things, the proper response is sadness – those have to be dealt with.

    The rest – if you keep picking at the why, you will eventually tell yourself. That’s the beginning of dealing with it, because a subconscious feeling made conscious is already starting to become something you can make choices about.

    Then it’s the usual: yeah, someone did something. Or, I’m feeling guilty because I did something someone made me do (rational). Then, is it worth ruining a long relationship over this? (Hint: it rarely is – but if it is, that has to be faced.) Little by little. Sometimes I get to a place where I can go talk to the other person and request a change. Sometimes I decide to make the adjustment myself.

    The solution is almost never ‘continue to have a bad day.’

    Oh, and you can use a plastic baseball bat on innocent furniture if necessary. I bought 10 of them, have given one to a friend, and still have 9, unbroken. Sturdy little suckers.

    Also, you are entitled to enjoy your bad day for a while, but careful with doing things that accumulate consequences – you don’t get to walk away from your own behavior when you’re having a bad day. Not if you’re an adult.

    If you’re having one – hope it’s getting better.

    • Valerie Alexander Post author

      I love the line, “careful with doing things that accumulate consequences.” What a great concept — accumulating consequences. If only people thought of the outcome of their behavior in those terms!