Wouldn’t it be great if we could avoid someone when they were in a bad mood? If this was possible I would've saved many precious days in my life that were wasted thanks to letting someone's bad mood get to me. I would be sucked in by it whether it was a close friend or a complete stranger. I couldn’t help but let their bad mood get to me and somehow I would end up feeling just as crappy as they were.
I would start my day feeling amazing with the biggest, brightest smile on my face. Some days it wouldn’t last long. At work I would deal with rude customers, my boss would be stressed and take it out on me, my sister would make a mistake and react over the littlest things, my partner would have a bad day at work and drop hurtful comments. I try to start up a convo with the lady serving me at the shops but she just stares at me with a blank look on her face. I build the courage to introduce myself to someone at a party and they ignore me. I'm left feeling like I have nothing to smile about.
For a long time I struggled to come up with a solution for this. I realised how much I was letting other people have an affect on me. I needed to change this. Here are the simple steps that helped me to stop letting people and their bad moods get to me:
Don't take it personally. If someone is in a bad mood and drops a hurtful comment its not a personal attack on you. When someone takes out his or her anger and frustration out on you it has absolutely nothing to do with you. I would blame myself and wonder what I was doing wrong, the truth is there’s not much you can do as the person is just caught up in their own problems. When I would have to deal with a rude customer I’d think I was doing a bad job, I’d try harder to please them, be unsuccessful and end up having caught their bad mood. Now, however, I acknowledge the bad mood, stay positive, be kind and remind myself it has nothing to do with me.
You can choose your reaction. The way someone chooses to behave is their karma, the way you choose to react is yours. You can't control people's behaviour but you can choose your reaction to them. No matter how rude the person, never let their behaviour make you feel any less about yourself. You can choose to take offence to people's bad moods or you can let it go. When my partner would get into a bad mood he’d drop a hurtful comment I would strike back and we would end up in a big fight. I’ve learnt to change my reaction. I tell myself it has nothing to do with me, I offer my support by telling him if he wants to talk about it I’m here.
There maybe more to it. There could be more to someone’s bad mood? You never know what their situation could be. They may have received some bad news? They may be going through a tough time? Continue being kind, it might lead you to an opportunity to help them.
Don't try to change other people. It's tempting to want to make someone stop doing something if you don't like it. I would try to put customers in better mood, relieve my bosses stress by working harder, I try to talk to my sister explaining that the mistake she made isn’t such a big deal and it’s an opportunity to learn from. You need to know when to accept a situation and stop trying to control it. If you've been kind to your customers but no change, accept this. If your boss is always stressed then accept that there is nothing you can do. Nothing I say to my sister helps and she continues to feel down. That's ok. Be kind and try your best.
Keep that beautiful smile alive ☺