Trap #1: Keeping Track of What is Fair or Unfair
If you’ve ever been out to a group dinner and started mentally tallying up who ordered what – and hoping that everyone paid the proper share including tip and tax, darn it! – then you’re giving in to this type of fear.
It is so easy to constantly keep track of who said this or did that (I can’t believe the boss remembered Mary in his thank-you speech, and left my name out. I worked just as hard!). Who was next in line (It sure wasn’t that rude man who cut in front of me), and who should wait their turn. Who owes or who paid.
When we don’t purposefully notice and confront those snippy thoughts, we allow them to rob us of kind ones — and likely kind actions.
The answer? We’ve got to choose to respond in the opposite way our hearts want to go. Assume the best of others, not the worst. Let offenses go. That allows us to escape the exhaustion of subconscious mental scorekeeping.
Your friend is running late again? Counter the temptation to think “She’s so selfish; she only cares about her own schedule,” and think “I love her spontaneity and flexibility, and this is part of friendship with her. It is probably good for me to not be so tied to a clock.”
Your boss left your name out of his speech? Think, “I’m so glad Mary got recognized this time. She’s been working so hard.”