Drop the 'Tude!
Did the coffee shop get your order wrong? Are you mad that your car got a flat tire? Is your boss making you crazy? Get over it! Taking your frustration out on others is not cool and unprofessional, so drop the 'tude!
We all have days that make us want to shout at the top of our lungs and spend the remaining hours in bed, isolated from the world. It happens to us all and it stinks.
Some things like the death of a loved one, a divorce, or the loss of a job, are too hard to simply “get over” in a matter of days and need much more delicate attention. In those situations, you deserve to take time for yourself, away from others, so please don’t think I’m being insensitive to severe situations.
However, the majority of things that annoy us day to day are much easier to bounce back from. Yet many people make it their job to bring their 'tude into the lives of everyone around them.
If you're mad at the world because Starbucks was out of the syrup needed for your favorite latte, you do not get a free pass to shout at a coworker. Or even be that upset in the first place.
This happens a lot at work when someone is having such a bad day they feel that everyone around them should as well. Really? Why’s that? So because your cell phone broke, I should suffer? Because you got a flat tire on the way into the office, I should feel your wrath for the remainder of the day? You tell me how that makes sense, and I’ll happily join you in the pity party.
When you take your frustration out on others, it really shows your true self. If you allow yourself to ruin the moods of people around you for the completely selfish reason of, “If I’m not happy, then no one should be!” it shows a lack of respect, lack of self-control, and proves that you’re a jerk. Okay, maybe you're not a jerk all of the time, but at this time, yes, you’re a jerk.
As I said, we all have bad days and some days will be worse than others, but when other people surround you, it can become infectious. I’m not saying you can’t be upset, but you have to know how to turn it off, or at least down. As an adult, sometimes you have to put on a smile even when you’re feeling burnt on the inside.
In an office setting, if you can lower your annoyance during a meeting, phone call, or even business lunch, it shows an incredible sense of inner strength and professionalism. As well, if someone doesn’t realize you are upset, and later finds out, having had no clue at that time simply because you were able remain calm, their respect for you will grow tremendously. We tend to value people who are able to remain cool under pressure.
When you’re having a bad day, take the time you need to chill out. Go for a walk, sit in your car, and take some “me time.” Call a friend to vent or watch a funny video on YouTube. Whatever it takes to help ease the pain (aside from hitting up the local bar), do it. But never make others targets. When you lash out on someone who had nothing to do with the reasons why you’re upset, they may not be so quick to feel your pain. They may only feel that you’re a pain in the butt.
As always, if you have another manners question, I look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @MannersQDT, and of course, check back next week for more Modern Manners Guy tips for a more polite life.
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