The other day I had to go to the gym in the evening. I hit a ton of traffic driving to the gym. My three mile drive on the highway took me fifteen minutes. I circled the parking lot for about ten minutes trying to find a spot. I finally found a person leaving. I followed her to her car, put my blinker on and waited patiently. She pulls out of the space and in races a little sports car. At that moment my first reaction is to swear and think, “What an A__hole!” I did not just sit in traffic, circle the parking lot, closely drive behind a woman walking to have some guy who is obviously oblivious to his surroundings take my spot. I was really pissed but what good was that going to do me? Normally I would drive off, find another space and probably stay pissed. Instead I put my car in park, stepped out and walked over to the other driver who was still in his car. I said to him kindly and with a smile on my face, “Hey – I am sorry but I was waiting for this parking spot.” To my surprise, he smiled back and looked embarrassed. He apologized and pulled his car out of the spot.
You cannot control what anyone is going to do. You can’t predict it. All you can do is control how you react to it. A lot of people will do things that annoy you, how will you react? A handful of people will do things that hurt you, how will you react? A few people will intentionally try to harm you, how will you react?
My workout that day was incredible. Finding the inner strength to not give into anger felt good. Having the courage to walk up to the driver felt great. Being able to stand up for myself in a kind confident manner felt fantastic. I chose to react with strength, courage and confidence.
How do you react?