First of all let me say that I am glad that Sonya didn't write this post from a Denver, Colorado jail. On another serious note, in the daily course of doing our jobs, our tempers and temperances are tested on a regular basis. How you chose to handle it is up to you, but as for me, my first inclination is to be the bigger person and let the other person just make a fool out of themselves if they want to.
How do you diffuse difficult situations? Since I am very easy going, I tend to dislike rants because I often feel like people are over reacting to minor situations. Plus some times, the situation escalates and everyone involved ends up looking stupid. Well, as it happens in life, when you look down upon other people thinking, “I wouldn’t do something like that,” guess what happens? You find yourself ranting AND looking silly at the same time.
I know that I ended up looking silly but I’m going to share this story so that you can seriously consider how you might deal with your anger. In my situation, I was so angry that I just might be sitting in jail right now rather than typing this post had I not watched a video, "Duel at the Mall." It helped me keep my senses - sort of.
Imagine two middle aged women driving opposite directions down a small street with unmarked lanes. The street is one block long. Had there not been stop signs at both ends, the street might be considered an alley. If you want to drop off mail outside the US Post Office in downtown Colorado Springs, you have to go down one of two of these types streets.
One woman seems to be convinced that she is on a one way street. I am the other woman and I am confident that I am on a two way street. (Remember, there are stop signs at both ends.) When I see her coming, I pull over to the right hand side. She also pulls over to the exact same side of the street. Once again - we are about the same age. Old enough to know what we are doing AND young enough to know what we are doing.
Both of us women were apparently in moods that would NOT be described as sweet and Christian like. We both end up on the same side of the street, just a few feet apart, STARING each other down from our respective vehicles since our hand gestures to each other didn't work.
As I’m in the middle of the “showdown,” I remembered the Dual at the Mall video that I saw in a divorce recovery class at church during an anger management discussion. The point of the hilarious video – is that if you let things get out of hand – even if you were right; you will also lose.
This woman and I were DANGEROUSLY close to letting things escalate just like happened in that video. Our faces could have been in that video. I knew that it would be bad if someone was recording us on their cell phone: Her sitting in my lane; her turning her car off; me turning mine off; me getting out and standing outside of the driver’s side window just waiting for her to roll her window down so I could politely point out the stop sign behind her. I had just left the gym and my hair was dirty. I took into account that I would hate to end up looking yucky in a video that went viral.
I know I was in the right. Yet, she decided that I should go around her since she was further into the street. She REALLY DID say that because I REALLY did get out and walk over to her window. Oh….the not so nice thoughts that were running through my mind. Oh…. the temptations. How long could I sit there and wait her out? What would happen if I just accidental bumped her, HARD, while driving around her? My 4 door Jeep Wrangler was bigger than her car. She was on MY side of the street.
Fortunately, that video clip kept popping into my mind. One of the ladies in the video had a bumper sticker, “War is not the Answer.” Her actions were just the opposite of the bumper sticker. Granted, if I were to have a bumper sticker, it would say something along the lines, “War is Necessary because Freedom isn’t Free.” Maybe I need to get that kind of bumper sticker? Then people would think twice before messing with me.
Ultimately, I gave in even though I really didn’t want to. It aggravated me to no end that I had to back up a little bit and drive around her on HER side of the street. However, I am sure that my insurance company is happy that my Jeep is still in once piece even though I may have cut it a little close even for my own comfort. I'm also glad that I don’t have a real estate logos plastered on my Jeep. Actually, this is the perfect example of why I don't want advertising on my Jeep. You never know what you are going to get yourself into.
Once I got home, I was thrilled to find the Dual video was on You Tube. The video calmed me down, cheered me up, and reminded me that I did the right thing. I’m glad that I had seen the video since it actually helped me to keep a really stupid situation from escalating. Also, knowing that someone might be capturing us on video was also a good deterrent. Between cell phones and surveillance cameras - that is always a very real possibility.
How would you handle your anger if/when someone makes you really mad over something stupid?