How Do You Feel About This?
“How should I feel about this?” I’m often asked.
“How do you feel?” I ask in return.
The point is that whatever you feel is valid. There are no “right and wrong” feelings against which to compare yourself. Whatever you feel is the way you feel, which is valid.
The question, of course, is what you do about it. Some people are outraged when they are cut off on the highway. But a portion of those realize they’ve done it themselves, or haven’t really been harmed, or just feel the other driver is an oaf. They simply continue their drive. But some people take off after the offender and commit “road rage,” which is dangerous, and sometimes leads to injury and death.
It’s not so much what happens to you or how you feel about it, it’s what you decide to actually do about it. If the airline or hotel (or your boss) treats you poorly, do you feel despairing and settle into victimhood, or do you complain, demand relief, and/or never use that provider again (or leave for a new job)?
Your feelings are your feelings and are valid. But your ensuing actions are strictly your choice and have very differing implications. If you miss your exit in trying to follow the driver who cut you off, that’s your fault, not the other driver’s. And if you soldier on in a job you hate, or continue a non-productive relationship, or are taken advantage of by others, those are conscious choices. Many people engage in what I call “life rage” which is even more destructive than road rage.
Or you can decide to take control of your life and make positive choices no matter what happens to you. That’s what successful people do.
© Alan Weiss 2017