On the way to Applebee’s last night, my husband and I were talking about temperaments, adult tantrums, and choosing your moments to… well…. show your butt. Come on, admit it, sometimes these moments present themselves. They walk right up to you and present you with a golden ticket. In the way of an example: Two of my girls and I were eating out a few weeks ago when a couple of workers were down-right rude and unnecessarily nasty to my daughter Brittany. Are you freaking kidding me? Did they not see the “Caution: Overly Protective Mother – Approach with Extreme Caution” balloon that floats over my head?
Joi’s Golden Rule: Thou shalt not mess with my family, animals, or anyone who is incapable of defending him or herself. I’m a very laid back, easy going gal – I drink from the live and let live well -but the rule, it must not be broken. I’d also never tell anyone to aspire to being a doormat. The view would surely suck.
However, more times than not, the petty little things people get bent out of shape over simply are not worth it. Think about a child’s temper tantrum – think about the best one you’ve ever seen. The best one I can think of involved a little boy (about 5 years old) on a playground. His mom said that it was time to go and he was in no way ready to leave the fun behind. He turned as red as a sunburn and let out a sound that made squirrels run up trees and other children (including my own) run to their parents. In fact, I inherited a few kids who couldn’t find their own.
We’ve all seen these temper tantrums in children and, even though we hate to admit it, we’ve often laughed because kids look kind of cute when their emotions get the best of them. Of course, the cute factor wears off as they get bigger and older – by the time they’re adults, these tantrums are anything but cute. They’re downright ugly.
The same underlying button causes adults and children to lash out – it’s the “Everything is about me!” button. No one wants to admit that they have this button, but the proof’s in the pout.
- When a car pulls out in front of Joe Average, he gets furious. He quickly decides whether to go with the fist, the finger that’s a middle child, or the horn. Is it because he’s concerned about the other driver’s safety? Of course not, Joe is outraged that someone pulled out in front of him – after all, it’s his road! That does it, he’s going with all 3 of his choices. In that moment, he looks just like the kid in the park.
- When Jane Average has to wait in line at Target for longer than 3 minutes, she huffs, she puffs, and she glares a hole through every worker in the store. Is she upset that the cashier is probably so tired she could cry? Does she feel badly for the frazzled workers or their tired feet? No way. Jane is furious that she is being detained from going about her important duties. Don’t they know who she is? In that moment, she looks just like the kid in the park.
- When Jeff Average is at work and someone hasn’t done exactly as he said, he stomps through the office, verbally abusing everyone within earshot. It’s his world, after all, and everyone is here with one purpose: To serve him! The sooner they get that, the quieter the office will be. In that moment, he looks just like the kid in the park.
- When Julie Average is in the store with her children and they begin to get restless, she rips into them like I do a chocolate cupcake. How dare they impose upon her moment?! Does she recognize that they’re probably tired and don’t enjoy an hour long shopping spree like she does? No way. It’s all about her and everyone else had better just suck it up. In that moment, she looks just like the kid in the park.
It doesn’t matter where Jane, Julie, Jeff, or Joe are and it doesn’t matter what they’re doing – if something doesn’t go their way (if the “It’s all about me” button isn’t being constantly pushed), they often launch into the adult tempter tantrum. And as we’ve already established, it most definitely is not cute.
It seems to me that, over all, people are getting less and less tolerant. Their patience is thinner and the proverbial Me Button is closer to the surface than ever.
One of the main reasons, I think, is that people aren’t getting enough R & R. Not enough rest and relaxation. Sure, it’s important to get enough sleep at night, but it’s also important to just unwind during the day and blissfully do nothing. Let your mind, body, and soul simply enjoy living. You don’t HAVE to be accomplishing something, you don’t always have to be socializing, you don’t always have to be on the go.
Slow down. Dial down. Breathe.
Something that could help divert a lot of adult temper tantrums is a simple question. When you’re confronted with a situation that’s pressing on or even jumping on your IT’S ALL ABOUT ME button, ask yourself, “What if this is the worst thing that happens to me this week?” That’ll put it all into perspective and you’ll probably find yourself smiling.
And that’s the point.
Next Post: Installing a New Button!