Friday, May 27, 2016

How to Deal When Things Aren't Going Your Way

At some point in our lives we have to learn that we can't always have our way. We learn that we have to share our toys and that we can't have ice cream for dinner. It's hard at first but it becomes a way of life, and it's ok because it all ends up being a trade off in the end. For instance, when we share our toys, then our friends share with us too and maybe we can't have ice cream for dinner but we might get ice cream after dinner! But what about the times when we share our toys and no one shares with us? Or when we don't get any ice cream for weeks. The 3 year old version of ourselves would probably whine and cry and think about how unfair it is. Thank goodness we're past that, right?

Or are we?

So maybe sharing toys and not getting enough ice cream isn't such a big deal but sometimes things just don't go my way and it can be extremely frustrating. The truth is, even as an adult, there are still times when I feel like sitting on the floor and crying about how unfair it is that stuff just isn't working exactly how I want it to be. So, this mostly happens when I have had no where near enough sleep and I don't actually sit on the floor and cry, but you know, the thought has crossed my mind.

As I get older I realize that the desire to get my way doesn't really go away, I just have a lot more control over it and all those little things just don't matter anymore. But what about the big things? Those things that you were sure were going to work out but then didn't or when people in your life aren't quite meeting all of your expectations? Since throwing fits isn't helpful, how do you deal?

Some things that don't work out the way you want them to are completely out of your control and, unfortunately, there's really nothing you can do to change that. However, sometimes it just takes a little communication. You can't expect the people around you to meet your expectations if they have no idea what they are. Give those around you the benefit of the doubt and don't jump to the conclusion that they're depriving you on purpose. 

Steer Clear of Flame Fanners
"Flame fanners" are those people who like to fan the flame of injustice by feeding it trash. You know, those people who love to dramatize everything. They can make a small misunderstanding into quite a scandal where you are the helpless victim of a great injustice. With flame fanners, the conversation usually turns into a private roast of the "villain" who committed the injustice where you take turns trash talking them until it just starts to stink....
Instead, confide in someone who will gracefully speak truth into your life. Talk to someone who will support you when you have been treated unjustly but will also be willing to give you constructive advice when you just might need to see things from a different perspective.

Focus on Positives
It can be hard to see the good things in your life when you're stressed or disappointed but chances are there are still things to be happy about no matter how small.

Don't Get Stuck on Yourself 
When I'm having a hard time, I try to remember that I'm not the only one who might be going through something tough. I try to make sure that, when talking to my friends about it, I try to make sure that I take the time to listen to how they are doing as well. When I think about myself less, I actually end up feeling better.

Remember That Most Things Don't Last Forever
If you're in a frustrating time in your life, remember that it will most likely change and that it will eventually be ok. In fact, it might even end up better in the end! But even if not, focusing on disappointment will most definitely not make it better. 

Take Charge of What's in Your Control
In some situations, just waiting for things to work out on their own just isn't the answer. Sometimes you have to take some initiative to go for second best. Which means letting go of what isn't and looking forward to what could be.

There are a lot of reasons and varying situations where you won't get what you want in life. All of your childhood expectations of life will most likely not be met and there's really no cut and dry formula for how to deal with every situation. I hope that keeping these tips in mind might help when you come to a disappointing time in your life. Sometimes the answer is to make some changes, and sometimes the answer is to be patient.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thank you for this, Sarah :). It was something I needed to hear. I've been following your blog for a while, by the way, and I've been really enjoying it. Particularly that goat cheese pasta recipe you posted a couple months ago; it's one of my favorite recipes I've ever tried. Anyway, thanks for being awesome and I pray that we'll both have strength and grace to deal with whatever circumstances come our way.