Managing one’s anger is an important step in getting through the day. Some days, it’s easy; other days, it would be easier to tame a hurricane. Especially when your alarm didn’t go off, you’ve got one foot in the shower and another in front of the sink, plus your phone is ringing off the hook because you’re already running late to an important meeting you’ve completely forgotten about. It literally feels like your day cannot get any more infuriating but, to be fair, it hasn’t even started.
Bad days happen to the best of us and on days like that, anything and everything feels like a trigger. When you’re already in that frame of mind, it’s highly likely that things will only get more aggravating until you remove yourself from the situation and gather your wits (which is obviously way easier said than done). The worst thing is that, when these things start to accumulate you’re more likely to take it personally, thus encouraging the whole victim mindset and reinforcing that “the whole world is against me” attitude. It’s a toxic downward spiral that pretty much anyone can relate to. Here’s a few bad day scenarios and some possible ways for you to handle it:
Annoying situation #1: You finally leave the house, droplets of water dripping from your still-wet hair as you throw your shoes and handbag unto the passenger seat. As you adjust your seat, your head hits the roof of the car. You imagine you see stars for a minute. And then you see red as the pain sinks in.
Realistic solution: Shut the car door. Scream your lungs out for about five seconds (eight seconds tops because, girl, you are already running late and cannot afford a proper tantrum right now), check your head for bumps and keep massaging as you drive your car out of the garage as calmly as you can.
Annoying situation #2: It’s a one-way road during morning rush hour and the car in front of you is moving at 30 km/h. There’s no question of you overtaking this guy because the oncoming traffic is equally as packed; also, ahead of you is only another 100 meters of free road before you come across the next crawling caterpillar of slowpokes.
Possible solution: Hate to break it to you, but it’s a lose-lose situation at this point. Short of monster trucking the whole line, there’s really nothing you can do. So blast some good music, clean up the wet mascara that’s imprinted under your eyes from when you screamed earlier, air-dry your now damp hair while finger-combing through the frizz, all while refraining from tailgating the car in front. Either way you’re already late.
Annoying situation #3: You finally reach the office and composedly slip into the boardroom and into your chair. Some people sniff disapprovingly at your tardiness, but other than a few side looks, no one puts you on the spot and after a few minutes of complete stillness and controlled breathing, you eventually blend into the background. Until your empty stomach starts growling. And it’s not just a one-time snarl but rather, a series of unfortunate full-out groaning that sends more than a few heads staring in your direction.
Possible solution: You could just cover your face with your hands and surrender right then and there. Or, you can very apologetically excuse yourself, bow your way out of the boardroom as discreetly as possible before rushing to the pantry to kick something. Drink some water, chow down some easy-to-swallow snacks, take a deep breath, thicken your skin and go back in there.
Annoying situation #4: After the meeting, you finally get a chance to sit down at your desk and despite a few nagging phone calls and more than a few emails begging for your immediate attention, you choose to take a minute to make yourself a cup of coffee after such a hectic beginning. You pour yourself some coffee, add some sugar and grab some Coffee-Mate. You tear open the sachet with unexpected vigour, letting out a snowstorm all over your black top. As you gasp you accidentally brush against your cup, sloshing black coffee on to your white pants.
Possible solution: Just cry. Just dramatically lean back against the pantry counter and let your legs give out before sliding onto the floor. Wail and kick the floor and laugh manically as you imagine all the grief you could’ve saved yourself if you had just called in sick.
OR you could count til ten. Take twenty deep breaths. Throw a very silent hissy fit by yourself. Go to the toilet and rinse out the coffee to the best of your abilities and convince yourself that no one will see it because you’re going to be stuck behind your desk all day anyway. Take another few deep breaths and get ready to face the world.
Throughout the day you’ll probably realize that you’ve been walking around with black pepper stuck in between your teeth from lunch, or stub your toe on the photocopy machine later on in the day; but just remember, it may seem like it but not everything is really out to get you. The black hole spiraling downwards is only an illusion that makes you feel as though everything is linked. It may seem that everything is ganging up against you but you can either choose to embrace the victim mentality, or you can grit your teeth, think of the leftover chocolate fudge cake waiting for you at home and will tomorrow to be better.