Do you ever have those times when you’re absolutely appalled with the way you’ve behaved to someone? I find that there have been times where I’ve not been able to handle the stress and I’ve just lashed out in a way that I wouldn’t think possible of myself 99% of the time. NOT KIND.
One time I can remember is on our return home from New Zealand a few years ago. We had a small flight from Wellington to Auckland, then the long flight back to San Francisco. Our first flight was late, leaving us very little time to make our international flight [the only one that day) – and we had to get from the domestic terminal to the international terminal. Unfortunately, the bus between terminals ran every 20 minutes or so, and we had just missed it.
This lead to a convergence of two of my biggest stressors – flying and being late. My attitude went from bad to worse when I found out we couldn’t walk between terminals, we just had to wait and hope. Two shuttle bus drivers asked us where we were going but neither would take us to the other terminal. Which I felt was ridiculous, as there seemed to be no one else at the entire airport. By the time the third bus refused us, I viciously snapped at the driver something like, “FINE. WELL MOVE ALONG THEN, WORLD’S WORST BUS DRIVER.” Or something equally sarcastic and rude. I was nearly in tears.
We finally got a shuttle and boarded the plane just as the doors were closing. The entire flight home I had a hard time sleeping because of how incredibly awful I felt about snapping at all the people who couldn’t help us at the airport. Even recounting it now, my stomach turns.
So it was my goal this month to be kinder to people, even when I’m stressed out. Thankfully, nothing like the above has given me reason to be super anxious, but there have been a couple times when I’ve been stressed and reacted better than, say, yelling someone’s head off.
One such time was my trip to Chicago this last weekend. The airplane’s descent was awful, hot, and bumpy and by the time we landed I was about five minutes away from being a Vomit Machine. The second we landed, the guy behind me stood up and repeatedly shook my seat in what I felt was an entirely unnecessary way. He nearly dropped his bag on my head as he got it out of the overhead bin. All I wanted to do was sarcastically point out to him that the doors to the cabin hadn’t even been opened yet, and we were 30 rows back. But instead I smiled and made small talk about Chicago (all the while, trying not to heave on his shoes).
I do wonder, though, if I could keep it up in a truly stressful situation. If I run across one this month, I'll post about it!
What about you? Are you kind when you’re totally stressing out? Or are you more like me, snapping at the drop of a pin?