|Little stresses can feel like crushing hands hovering over your head.|
We all have stress in our lives that affects us. Sometimes, the reason for our tension can be major such as finding out that you, a family member or another loved one has a serious disease or die. Then again, you can lose your job or find out that your husband or wife is cheating on you or that your child is on drugs. Worrying about how to solve serious problems is one thing, but allowing the smaller annoyances of life too constantly crush your spirit is simply wrong. Let me share some ways to solve some of the most common little stress problems that can really get on your nerves.
Reason One (Yes or No) and the Fix for This Little Stress
Here’s a good example that I’m sure probably happened to you as well. You plan to hold a dinner or bought tickets for an event that only this friend would care to see with you to hosting a garage sale together. The friend immediately accepts but cancels out at the last minute. Falling ill is understandable and one thing. However, it is irritating when you later find out that this friend just didn’t really want to go or feel like rummaging through their stuff to price items for the sale. Just as annoying is finding out that the same friend forgot about the plans in the first place when it should have been on their calender.
Instead of letting this little annoyance bother you, here is the fix. Give this person an easy out when before you issue the request or invitation. For instance, you can say, “I want to hold a garage sale. Would you like to share the advertising costs with me and we can sell together? If you don’t want to do this, this is fine but I wanted to ask.” Asking in this fashion doesn’t put pressure on that person to accept because you asked. You are allowing the person an option without letting him to feel trapped into accepting. At the same time, you find out earlier how the friend feels about your request.
Reason Two (Rudeness) and the Solution
Another little stress of life is dealing with rude complainers wherever you encounter them. The post office is a good example. The branch that I go to often has one counter person and typically is crowded. People in line will complain how there should be more clerks to wait on them, but the staff has been reduced due to budget cuts. However, when the inconvenience affects them in their daily life, the solution for the complainers is simply to make loud, snarky comments to others and degrade whoever happens to be behind the counter.
The solution for this is go to the post office ahead of everyone else to be the first in line, go to another post office or mail through a different service, or stop complaining because this is the new reality due to the budget of the post office. No one likes to wait, but everyone deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. The important thing to remember is that person behind the counter is the same as you, despite what position or amount of money that you have.
Then again, maybe you notice that sales clerks sometimes can disappear when you want to check out at a store or when you need help asking about a certain item. Waiting and searching through aisles looking for a body that could wait on you or answer questions can be frustrating. After you march through every section of that store and are about to leave, then finally someone appears. You, of course, have the urge to strangle the person, especially more so when the clerk later makes a mistake with your receipt or fails to know anything about what you need.
Sales clerks do work in shifts. Perhaps, the time you chose to shop was between shifts. Maybe shopping at that store a little later in the day would help with more people on the floor. If this solution didn’t resolve the issue, then you might want to shop at another store that has more clerks to serve you.
If your sales clerk made a mistake or may have given you with a slightly off-color remark, understand they are human too that also could have been going through a personal problem. Of course, our problems are supposed to be left at home. Nonetheless, there are times we all need to be understanding of each other because maybe that clerk was belittled by the customer before you for not being fast enough, etc.
If you don’t appreciate the tone or what this clerk was implying, it never hurts to ask if you offended him or her for some reason. In all likelihood, the sales clerk will catch himself and apologize for that behavior.
If this behavior happens repeatedly by the same clerk, then the solution is going to his superior. Otherwise, relax and give the poor clerk a break. We all have bad days. I’m sure that even you aren’t totally pleasant 24 hours a day, seven days a week, nonstop. At least, I’m not.
Reason Three (Automated Customer Service) and the Solution
Something that really infuriates me is automated customer service. Have you ever noticed how many lines that you need to wait for until the one you need to press finally is announced? Better yet, after you do get connected through that automated line, then you get this computer voice saying how very important that your call is, but there are at 20 or so people ahead of you waiting for the next available representative. You are left either to wait and listen to some horrible music that can get on your nerves, repeating itself through occasional interruptions by the computer voice saying “your call is very important to us, but please continue waiting and the next available representative will be with you shortly,” or allowing a call back later. My favorite is after a set number of minutes that automated call simply disconnects you or says our lines are too busy please call back later.
The solution for automated customer service calls is bringing back the humans. We crave human contact, not machine contact. Therefore, there is a great website that understands the need called get2humans.com. This website has many companies listed there with the right person to contact and how to get past the automation.
Reason Four (Noisy Home) and the Solution
Maybe your little stress is a noisy home when you desperately need some peace and quiet. Imagine the television blaring and your family argues over what was discussed on a political show, defending their views. As that heated debate is going on, loud music could be filtering through the hallway from another room. Not to be drown out is the excited sound of children fighting about toys, adding to the chorus.
Instead of wanting to scream and run away, you can run to your bathroom for some shower solitude. Allow the shower to offer that peace and quiet while you relax in that soothing warm water and muffle the other sounds. The time in your shower or your bath can be one of the best times to recoup in a stressful day. Use it to your advantage.
Reason Five (You’re Talking But No One Listens) and the Solution
When others in your household have something important to say then you listen because it is the right, polite thing to do. Yet, this rule doesn’t always apply when it comes to you, which can cause resentment and anger. However, there is something useful that can give you more control over the situation.
Do not raise your voice, but call a family meeting. Tell the husband and the kids that no one is going anywhere or turning on their computer, television, etc. until you tell them what you need to for next five minutes or so because you need their attention. Speak slowly and directly to exert your authority until they understand you mean business. Make it clear that you expect the same amount of their attention as you give them.
The Ultimate Solution (Looking at Little Stresses for What They Really Are is Liberating)
The point is that life is hard enough without adding the little annoyances to what is already stressful enough in our lives. Learning to see really why we got upset over some of those little things and analyzing them in a new way to see how petty they really are can free us from the extra pain weighing us down.
Do you have any thoughts? If so, tell me how you handle those little daily stresses.