When people get upset or angry they resort to many different reactions. I looked it up just to give me some ideas, but you know what people do in general. Some yell, become violent, clam up, cry. I tend to lose sleep because I'm up all night reliving what I should have said or done, practicing what I'm going to say to them next time, beating myself up over what I am feeling, or being indignant about the injustice of it all. This post is not about how I am going to try to not get upset or angry anymore... that is NOT going to happen. But I am going to work on my reaction to "IT", whatever "IT" is.
My friend Jenny mentioned that she works out more to help her deal with being upset or angry. My friend Suzan gives herself a time limit to vent and then she has to be done. My mom resorts to a more internal mechanism of prayer. These work for them. They don't seem to work for me. I am coming to realize that to get over "IT" I need to get a sense of perspective. Just thinking about what someone else may be dealing with that is more difficult or remembering where "IT" really fits in the grand scheme helps me.
Last month I was driving home and a 20 year old girl coming the other direction ran a light and turned in front of me. We hit head on. Fortunately no one was injured, but my new car was totalled. I did get a mild case of whiplash, of course I had some shock at the time, a little post traumatic stress, and a subsequent fear of driving that I'm almost over (I may never drive full speed through a stop light again), but surprisingly that wasn't the worst of it for me.
If you have ever had to deal with someone else's insurance in a total loss scenario then you know what I have been dealing with for almost 5 weeks. It is a nightmare. Their job is to try to get me to settle for the least possible amount, and to them that obviously means less than what my property is worth. They do this in a variety of ways that are infuriating! Lack of communication, passing you around to a new claim officer (I had 5), talking down to you, cancelling your rental car before you have a settlement, referencing "legal policy" that isn't really law, etc. For literally 3 weeks I lost sleep over this. I argued with them in my head over and over again, usually from about 1am - 5am. I was a wreck.
Then, after hearing of a dear friend's challenging situation that I'm not going to divulge, I got a sense of perspective.
I was able to say, "Honestly B., you are losing sleep and stressing out about a few thousand dollars and a stupid car? You walked away from a totalled vehicle unhurt and are going to eventually work through this and get a new car. And, by the way, you will realize it was silly to get this upset about something you cannot control in a few months anyway so just realize it now!".
It did eventually work out with the insurance and I settled and was able to replace my car. And honestly, after working through this I think I am in a better place. I hate trite sayings like "Everything happens for a reason", but maybe it was a life lesson I needed to learn. Here's my generative coaching from this life situation: I need to be better prepared to gain perspective more quickly in the future. Not that I plan on belittling my feelings or emotions, but I'm not going to let them effect my health and happiness anymore. Well, I'm going to try really, really hard...