Mondays have a reputation for being irritating, but I recently took it to a whole new level. A pal of mine who said she’d attend an event at which I was speaking texted me to say she wasn’t going to go after all.
I nearly blew a gasket. Actually, consider the gasket blown.
I started ranting and raving – not at her; she just got a meek text that said “OK” – but in general. When I told my boyfriend why I was so upset, he said he didn’t understand how something so minor could make someone rise to gasket-blowing levels.
So then I got mad at him.
I thus doubled the rant, slamming about loud enough to scare the dogs, and then went into the bedroom to cry. My mind began to tell me how everything is horrible and everybody sucks and I suck and nobody loves me.
Yes, all that from my pal’s change of plans – or was it?
Diagnosing the REAL problem
Since I had a totally disproportionate reaction to a minor disappointment, there had to be much more bothering me at a deeper level. Years of experience with this stuff taught me the value of writing things down to get to the bottom of them.
So I made a list of everything that was bothering me at the moment.
- Pal not coming to event
- Agreed to some random favor that’s annoying me
- Feel like I’m being taken advantage of
- Mad at myself for spending so much dang money on junk
By the time you get to the fourth level, the REAL truth starts to appear. Yep, I was pissed because I had lately let my spending get out of control (Amazon Prime is a killer).
Once I admitted to myself that the money issue was the core of the problem, all the other things kind of evaporated. They were just accessories being piled on the real problem. My pal’s change of plans happened to be the final straw that broke the camel’s back.
So now what?
Once you determine the REAL reason you’re so irritable, your next step can go one of two ways:
- You can try to ignore the core issue some more, allowing it to fester in your gut as you continue to lash out randomly.
- You can take action to fix it.
I chose the latter.
Fixing the core issue
In money matters, simply making a budget and sticking with it is not always as easy as it seems. That’s because money is loaded with all kinds of emotional connotations. For instance, buying things can make us feel WORTHY, while not buying what we want when we want it can make us feel DEPRIVED.
The trick to sticking with a budget here is to change the mindset. Instead of being DEPRIVED when I don’t buy another useless piece of junk, I need to give it a positive connotation. Since buying useless junk weighs me down, when I don’t buy it, I am:
- Unburdened, unrestrained
- Open, free
- Light and airy
- Downright gleeful
Nice. This can work.
Final step after a meltdown
The final step is to clean up any messes we made during the tantrum. Since I didn’t text anything nasty to my pal, I was good on that front. I apologized to my boyfriend. Cuddled with the dogs. And went back to the rest of my day, no longer irritated, angry or lashing out for no apparent reason. Life is good when you deal with what’s REALLY bothering you. Yes, even on a Monday.