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Day 21 Behavior Exchange Challenge ~ Letting Stran...

Day 21 Behavior Exchange Challenge ~ Letting Strangers Affect Your Mood

Bad Habit #21 ~ Letting Strangers Affect Your Mood

rope_Iván_Melenchón_Serrano_MorgueFileWhether you’re upset at the terrible waiter, or fuming at the rude sales clerk, or barely tolerating the impossible customer, the take away is that you’re letting strangers affect your mood. How is it possible that a complete stranger and impact – and change – our entire outlook?

We could be having a bad day and somebody just pushes us over the edge. It can be that we think we deserve respect and the injury – real or imagined – shows the strangers disrespect toward us. It may be that the mood shift you feel is due to feeling invalidated as a person. All these instances are due to the talk we listen to in our heads, and the individual baggage that we all carry, that gets wrapped up into a neat ball of frustration. So how do side step the triggers?

– Make a conscious choice to be happy: it’s your mood and you can choose to be happy or not.

– Remain detached from the negative: you aren’t related to the person who is annoying you, so deal  with the problem in a direct, calm manner.

– Be constructive: You may not change the terrible waiter, but you CAN let his boss know about the bad service.

– Avoid people who focus on the negative: like water attracting water, negative emotions and behaviors attract negativity.

Do YOU find that you let strangers affect your mood? Do you know why? What are your triggers? Let go of behaviors that negatively affect your life. It’s time to exchange this behavior for one that will make your life happier.

Lee AldrichLee’s Challenge:

Nope – this is not me. I have a good coping mechanism for surly, nutty and otherwise indifferent strangers…..I kill them with kindness and go on my merry way. They’re not living in my house after all!

Barbara JoyBarbara’s Challenge:

If I had to pick just one bad habit that had the biggest impact on my happiness, it would be this one.  Strangers can indeed affect my mood.  All. The. Time.

When it comes to situations like “Sidewalk Chicken”, it could completely ruin my day.  Feeling invisible and unimportant because there was no room on the sidewalk…no room for me.  I realized there was room on the sidewalk….I was giving the space away to strangers.  My new resolution is to assume positive intent, claim my space and make a game out of getting strangers to say hello.

One of the biggest things this challenge has done for me is to consider the root cause for all of my reactions…all of my emotions….The cashier at Bed Bath & Beyond that doesn’t have the customer service skills to say thank you, The neighbor walking their dog that can’t make eye contact and say hello, and especially you, the sidewalk chicken people….I don’t own your poor customer skills, unfriendly nature, or bad etiquette.

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