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Monday, March 19, 2012

How to Stop the Stick in a Lemony Situation

You're standing in line at the grocery store and the person behind you says something rude to their spouse. Someone cuts you off in traffic and nearly causes an accident with your new vehicle. You're pulling into a great parking spot on a rainy day and someone sneaks right in front of you and steals your spot. Your spouse asks 'are you really wearing that?'. We are faced with lemony situations every day (sometimes a dozen of them before breakfast). The key to turning each and every one of those lemons into lemonade is to stop the stick.

Here's what you might do if you want to get sticky in a lemony situation: (remember the events above, here is a sticky reaction to each one) -glare at the rude person behind you and let them know that you don't approve of their conversation. Beep your horn and cuss something foul as loud as you can. Flip them the bird and make sure they know you're unhappy. Say to your spouse 'why do you always treat me so crappy? you're such a jerk". It's our human nature to react this way. I say human nature, because my toddlers do it instinctively every time they are faced with a lemony situation. I hear a lot of "he did it first" and have to continually remind my children that we don't call one another 'nut crack heads'. This isn't learned behavior, it's what we see animals in the wild do. Animals don't have the ability to reason, and as humans don't take the time we should to reason before we react. This reacting causes us to take a lemony situation and get totally sticky to the point we are stuck.

The first step to stopping the stick is to take a deep breath. Add some oxygen to the situation and give yourself a moment to gain perspective and reason. The couple in the grocery store may have a dying child in intensive care and they are simply at their wits end with they aren't being patient with one another. The driver was probably late for the third time this week to pick up their spouse from work and the spouse is verbally abusive if things don't go their way. The driver didn't even see you because he/she had so much on their mind. The driver at the store possibly had a toddler in tow who was about to wet their pants if they didn't get into the store quickly. Your spouse possibly thinks you look amazing and was hoping you'd take off your outfit and have some snuggle time because they find you so attractive they can't keep their hands off you.

When you take a moment to think about the possibilities your reaction may not even be required. You may find yourself simply shrugging your shoulders and moving forward. We cannot change others, we cannot change situations, but we can change how we look at things. Call it sugar coating if you will, but in reality it takes some sugar to turn a lemon into lemonade, so go with it!

May your paths be filled with lemons, sugar, and sunshine!


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