Last weekend, I had one of those awful customer service experiences. It was a 30 minute phone call to our cellular service provider that ended badly. It was clear we were not going to come to a resolution, so the customer service manager hung up on me. I was trembling mad when I told husband about it. I mean, she hung up on me! Not only was she not going to do anything about their mistake but she hung up on me. My feathers were ruffled. I chewed on it all day. By the end of the day, I had a plan for how I would live my life without a cell phone. I would get a landline and a tracfone, maybe something old-fashioned like a rotary phone. There. That’ll show them. HA! As if…
A little backstory then I’ll get to my point. For years I was the complaint department. I spent the first 5 years of my career while I was going to college answering phones, a large number of which were complaints. So, when she hung up on me, I thought, “so that’s what that feels like.” Yet, I couldn’t get over how upset I was. What was it exactly that bothered me so much? Did I really expect better service from this company?
In the middle of a restless night, I asked, “What am I supposed to learn from this? It’s ridiculous I’m so upset over this!” So, I did what every person does when they can’t sleep at 3:00 a.m., and got on Facebook. Scrolled through my newsfeed for a bit then came upon a post that talked about how short our journey is, and how some things aren’t worth fighting for, because we’re not here that long anyway. Wow. Talk about a kick of perspective.
So, I sat there and thought. Did they wrong me? Yes, yes they did. Are they going to make it right? Probably not. Was she right to hang up on me? Probably, because I wasn’t willing to take no for an answer, and no was the only answer she was willing to give. In the big picture, does it really matter? No. No, it doesn’t.
Sometimes, all it takes to remind me not to sweat the small stuff is a little perspective. In the heat of the moment, I get too narrowly focused on whatever has me angry. I forget to step back, and broaden my view. In the big picture, so many of the things I worry about are not important. Rude customer service managers for one, should not take up so much of my energy. Because at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter.
So, when you find you’re bogged down with worries or anger, ask yourself, “How can I look at this differently, in the big picture, does this really matter, or is it just something that has me upset right now?” I find this works with the small stuff. The big stuff, well, that’s a post for another day. Most of the time it turns out what has you so angry is not a big deal after all. It’s just an energy suck that you need to release. (And speaking of letting go, I may need to let go of this service provider.)
Now, please excuse me, I’ve got to take this call from my toddler. Very important stuff.
I’d love to hear from you. What do you do to calm down from a spat? Leave a note in the comments section of this post.
Stay tuned for an upcoming video series titled “Keys to Finding Happy” starting next week.
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