Originally Posted by Honeywith4bees
Interestingly, I have asked my boyfriend to call me out on my behavior whenever I turn into "the cat who walks by herself". I never used to understand how that action of mine hurt people, I only thought I was punishing myself!
You can't depend on anyone to change your behavior but yourself. I used to into angry arguments on the subway all the time because of how crazy people act. That's what I told myself. I said to myself, it's impossible not to be miserable much of the time in rush hour on the subway. One day I had a particularly bad argument and realized, I can't go on like this. I have to take the subway to go to work, so, no matter how hard it is, I have to stop myself from getting involved with any negativity with other people no matter how rude they are. I read something on anger and I realized something. It hit me like lightening. I decided the only way to avoid confrontation was to MONITOR MYSELF! Now, in the past, I always said to myself. "I shouldn't have to think about everything I do and say! That's too much work. I should just be able to be myself." That's the belief I uncovered. I thought about it and realized that my reactionary self is not really me. "I would never be such a jerk. I'm not that guy." So, I began to monitor myself. Then I realized the biggest thing, huge! I realized that monitoring myself is WAY LESS WORK than getting into a negative confrontation with a complete stranger over something I don't care about! Then, I realized, "Actually, it's a lot less work than getting into any negative argument with anyone I DO know!" I mean, how many times have you run a negative argument through your head? "That son of a... If he even tries to do that to me, I'll...." What a waste of time and energy! So, I began to monitor myself more and more and was having moderate success - less confrontations, but I was still blowing up periodically. That's when I took it a step further. Instead of saying, "Monitoring doesn't work!" I said, "What can I do to make it better?" Then, it hit me. Prepare myself for confrontations before they happen! I started getting on the subway and anticipating, "Okay, someone is going to bump me or say something rude. What am I going to do? I don't want to waste my time or energy no matter if they're wrong or not, so, I'm going to just apologize and move away." WHAT A DIFFERENCE! It was AMAZING! Within a week, suddenly I was able to avoid ALL confrontations! How much better did I feel? I felt like a new man! I was happier all the time! After a while, I was so good at avoiding the "jerks", not only did I not get upset, I actually felt GOOD that I was able to outwit the little trap that was set for me! I'd smile at everyone on the subway and if someone stepped on my foot and looked at me like it was my fault, I'd smile broadly, step aside, and say "Excuse me. I'm sorry." It was amazing. It was like I brought a positive energy with me and I could see the stress and irritation on the instigators face just disappear. I'm telling you this story to make you realize that to stop being negative, you have to begin by realizing that negativity only hurts you, even if you win. Then, you need to monitor yourself all the time, especially in situations where you know you've had problems in the past. Finally, you need to prepare yourself and have a plan to sidestep the negativity no matter what. No one ever wins an argument. Hope this helps.