Sunday, January 17, 2010

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff - Part 2

I want to share with you what I am learning from this book. Of course, there are chapters that do not apply to me and other chapters that hit my issue right on the head.

Cutting my friends some slack: This, like so many things in this book are obvious, by worth repeating. Sometimes we say or do something that offends or irritates our friends and family. Doesn't it make sense that we should understand when people do this to us to be more understanding and cut them some slack? Everyone has bad days, everyone is stressed once in a while, and everyone lets a bad decision get by them once in a while. If these people are truly our friends we will cut them some slack.
I find this advice helpful when thinking of a friend of mine who interrupts me and tells me her opinion before I'm done with my thought. But, she is a really good friend who is extremely supportive of me. In my opinion it's more important to keep our friendship and be okay with her quirk, than to do anything about it. I will cut her some slack when she is over eager to be that supportive friend.

Pot-stirring: The book suggests that we not bring up old situations that may be hurtful to other people. I honestly believe that I don't do this to other people, but I do do it to myself. If left alone with my thoughts I can bring up previous conversations and confrontations and turn a perfectly good mood into a miserable one. Why do I do this? The problem is long gone. Since reading this book, I find myself starting this thought process and I am actually able to push those thoughts aside and focus on the here and now. How refreshing.

Look in the mirror: This chapter presents the idea that the things that we find irritating in other people are actually behaviors that we ourselves possess. Interesting. Here is what I find irritating about a few of my friends: they interrupt, they act like they have all the answers, and they are competitive. Oh my. That's a lot to swallow if this is how I act. If I interrupt people I am not aware of it, so I need to pay more attention. Maybe I do act like I know it I tried something at work the other day. A colleague of mine was having trouble with a family member and wanted to vent a little bit. So I listened, and even though I had a few suggestions I kept them to myself. Unlike other times we've had these conversations where she gets slightly defensive, she opened up more when she realized that I assume to have all the answers. Now I realize why she reacted the way she use to...she was reacting to my suggestions not to her original gripe.

I suppose that's enough for one day.

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