I came to church on one Sunday morning, and one part of the preaching that day was about how most people tend to see negative things. It’s funny because just three days in prior, I had a huge fight with my husband, and later that night after we made up, I realized that such tendency (to focus on negativity) might be the main reason why had a fight in the first place as well.
I suddenly got a call on that Thursday morning, for a 6PM interview appointment at a reputable company, at the same day. I told the interviewer to make it 6.15 because the traffic in this city are incredibly crowded, as all would agree. What happened in the afternoon was unbelievably ‘right in time’. It was raining for hours, the sky was flat grey, and we know what would be the aftermath of a long rain: traffic jam!
I didn’t drive to the office that day, which left me with no option but to call a cab or online taxi to take me to the interview venue. I had made a reservation 10 minutes before 5PM, yet it was really hard to find any who is available around. The first two that I found through the application told me that they have been stuck where they were and requested me to cancel because there was no way they would have arrived at my place anytime soon.
My husband, whom I kept updated about this depressing situation, helped out with his own app and found me an available car that was located close by. However, due to the congestion everywhere, the reserved car finally arrived at my office at around 5.45PM. Of course, I ended up late for almost an hour; and as if it wasn’t enough, I had an issue to find a ride home as well.
It was a catastrophe!
The quarrel with my husband that day was started with my question on the road to my appointment, asking him why he didn’t come to pick me up knowing that I needed him to, and I told him that I would not have had to be in such situation if he did. He came out defensive and told me that it was because he was expecting an important call, which I already knew about, that he didn’t prefer to accept while driving - such an answer that obviously didn’t fix anything.
Then, I started recalling (read: blurted out with rage) about the things he did or did not do that have pissed me off, like how:
I know, none of the above had anything to do with what happened that evening. I went mad and needed to lash it out to someone, and the one available target was my husband. As it was mentioned in the preaching, sometimes – if not most of the times - we focus more on the things that don’t go our way, and forget the rest that actually do. It was a slap on my face that let me recall about those forgotten, ignored happy moments and all the great things my husband has done for me:
Based on several studies, negativity is essentially an attention magnet. It is a general tendency for everyone to remember negative things more strongly, and bad emotions have more impact than good ones.
However, we can choose how we act on this so-called human psyche. For me, starting that day, I learn that it is important to register more positive things in my head and be grateful no matter how cloudy my day is or how irritating someone can be. It is wiser to hold ourselves from speaking out unkind words (some things are better left unsaid indeed!), because our ears would hear them and send such to our brains, dragging us into a deeper negativity. Also, one other key factor is to be around positive people, because negative people can suck the happiness out of you.
When something is getting under our skin, taking some deep breaths to calm down before responding would worth a try. When things don’t go our ways, and if we just couldn’t find a way to turn the negative things into something helpful, maybe our last resort should be simply smiling and say “Oh well, who cares?” Some issues are not really an issue for the long run anyway, thus making a big deal out of it would be such a waste of time, or even worse, something that we would regret in the future.
At the end of the day, life is too short to be anything but happy.
“The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.” ~ Woody Allen