Emotional intelligence and control over one’s feelings is in part dictated by a sense of self worth. Achieving a healthy state of mind is difficult when it is so easy to be offended or frustrated when the world doesn’t answer to our demands. Why can’t things be like this, why does it have to be me, why are people so mean? We’re always taught how people should treat us, how things should be. And these expectations puts us at the mercy of things that we often cannot help, control or change.
I totally see the appeal of self-help books. They stimulate and motivate changes from the mind to behaviour, using ration to better process situations and ultimately change our reactions. There is so much potential in believing that we are greater than our environments. That is the very first step. We don’t have to feel this way. And although we feel entitled to certain things, we must accept our current situation and the past that led up to it, even when we know that the situation is not ideal. We accept that it’s not what we want but it no longer has the same sort of control over us. This does not mean rejecting how we initially feel. It does not mean repressing our emotions or pretending to be unaffected. But it does mean believing that things can change- beginning with our thoughts and attitude. I’m trying to cultivate adaptive thinking in my life and I’m ready to reap in the benefits ~~~
So, one evening, I walked to a friend’s house. When I arrived at the door, I realized that I had forgotten what floor and flat he lived in. Naturally, I asked the security guard for a bit of guidance. “Sorry, but do you know which floor a guy called T lives? He loves riding bikes… like, all the time? He’s quite tall?” And the security guard refused to help me. “I’m already being lenient,” he said. “Why don’t you go and call him?” He said. I couldn’t though, without a phone and without his number memorized. I grew increasingly angry at the security guard. “Can’t you at least give me a clue as to how many floors there are in the building? Maybe it’ll jog my memory”. He said no and showed me out. Let me tell you, I was ENRAGED. I had to go all the way home in my leggings, call T, ask for the details, then walk back through the heat and humidity. Even though I knew it was the guard’s job to not let random girls into the building, I let my emotions get the best of me. I told T to give the guard the stink eye… even though the whole debacle was my fault.
How should I have handled it? I should have breathed. Calmed down. Laughed at my idiocy! Such misplaced blame… I should have thought of it as a lesson- a lesson to make sure I know where I’m going before I set off. I can’t always expect things to magically fall into place. Even if I had accepted that it was my fault, I didn’t have to stay mad at myself.
On Wednesday night, I embarrassed myself. With a few drinks, I let go of pride and dignity. In the morning, I made a decision. 1) I shall not let any guy or person make me feel less worthy. I will not let my confidence be affected by people I barely know- why should their opinion matter? I know what I believe to be true. 2) I will not put myself in a position where I am desperate for someone’s attention and/or approval.
When I think about it, I’m still embarrassed now. But I’ve accepted it in the sense that I’m no longer wishing with every fiber of my body that Wednesday didn’t happen. I’ve learnt something and I stopped the castrophosizing before it got too bad and that’s what counts. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and I learnt to trivialize.
It’s easier to break and stay broken than to heal. My last post was about how people are fragile and easily swayed by people. But why do we have to be?