Cutting cranky people some slack

Have you ever had one of those days?  You’re mad at yourself because you waited a little too long to start on a project.  You’re mad at yourself because you thought you left yourself plenty of time to get to the next meeting.  You were wrong.  You’re mad at yourself because you simply cannot figure out how to get the stupid #@*^& working.

So, you snap at the first person unfortunate enough to cross your path. You find a reason to lay blame on pretty much everyone but yourself for the pickle you’ve managed to get into. And because you really are a fairly enlightened person, you know you are over-reacting and what you should be doing is stopping, taking a deep breath, owning your role and figuring out a way to get out of the pickle. Then, because you’re reacting inappropriately, you start beating yourself up about that  too, the mood worsens and the second person unfortunate enough to cross your path gets it even worse than the first person.

Or is it just me that this happens to sometimes?

I had one of those days yesterday.  More things seemed to go wrong than right.  And the more I tried to fix, to rush, to figure it out, the more frustrated and cranky I became.

Fortunately, I work from a home office. There are not a lot of people to share my really bad mood with!  And fortunately for me, those days really don’t happen very often.  I do know that I get impatient too quickly and have learned to recognize the signs that tell me  it’s time to stop, step back, take a breath and get a grip!

This post isn’t about what you do to handle those stressful days.  (You can read some suggestions here and here.) This is about recognizing that when you are the unfortunate person who happens to cross paths with someone who is having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day and unfairly decides to take their frustration out on you, don’t respond in kind!

Instead, remember, you’ve had bad days too.  See if there is anything you can do to help out.  If that doesn’t work, back away slowly, give the cranky person some extra room and when they calm down and get back to neutral, don’t hold their cranky mood against them.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all reacted badly.  I am so thankful for the wonderful people in my life who don’t hold my less-than-stellar moments against me.  Thanks to all of you!

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