I am not exactly the best person to give this kind of advice, but it has to be said.
Pick your battles carefully.
I am pretty crabby when it comes to certain things, and very angry when pushed or when I bottle it up long enough. Especially so when I’m also hangry (hungry+angry). However, there are certain things that I react to, but hold back from showing on the outside. And that’s really the key, controlling the emotions on the inside.
For example: a few days ago (or weeks ago, I can’t remember when), I was on the train going home. Now the NY railroad has these “quiet cars” in place for people who want absolute silence on their commute. I was not on one of those cars. I was having a phone conversation with a friend, I use my earbuds in case the sound from the receiver is too loud, as I don’t really enjoy people hearing my conversations. And I was also speaking in a tone, which I thought, was pretty subdued.
A man in the seat in front of me stood up, and politely, asked me if I could lower my voice. On the inside, my initial reaction was to tell this man to fuck off and go to the quiet car if he wants absolute silence, but on the outside I apologized and lowered my voice to a hushed whisper.
Now, here is my thing, if you are polite, generally I will be nice. In reality, I wanted to tell this man many things about what he can do to himself and his quiet wanting ass. Firstly, why? And secondly, what the fuck? But because he said “Miss, could you please….” I realized it’s not worth it to go off on a man who probably just wants to take a quick nap.
And who am I to judge. I love napping as much as the next cat.
But it got me thinking. What if I hadn’t controlled my emotions and let it all hang out? Of course, I would end up being the crazy one. But what would the situation have been like? Most likely, I would have raised my blood pressure, caused the man to become defensive, and leading to everyone in the train car to be annoyed or irritated, or both. Everyone was heading home, that much was obvious. Most people are tired, have had long or stressful days, and the last thing anyone wants is a big scandal.
So I picked my battle. And let it go.
A few seconds is the difference between peace and chaos. Read the room, read the situation, read your feelings, read the other person. Is it worth it to fight? Can it be discussed? Does it have to be discussed, or can we let it go? Not everything has to bother you, and the world does not revolve around you, nor me. No, I wasn’t in the quiet car, but that doesn’t mean I have to be obnoxious, and maybe I was talking louder than I thought I was.
It takes a very long time to learn when to battle and when to let it go. And it’s a never ending class. Because I still let things go when they should be fought about, and still fight when it should be let go. I highly doubt I’ll be an expert at it any time soon. Don’t feel discouraged if you mess up. The only way we learn is by messing up in the first place.
The Quirky Digest