Tuesday, July 20, 2010

People can make us crazy.

I like people. I really do.

But some people just drive me crazy.

I don't understand them. It is like they enjoy making other people miserable.

Perhaps it is because they are miserable themselves.

I don't know. But they sure do make life hard sometimes.

There are a lot of very unhappy people out there. I see them in stores, on the road, at work. Everywhere. Not that I don't have my own moments, I do. But some people make a point of aiming their unhappiness right at you.

People see right through people at times. I cannot tell you how many times I have witnessed someone at a check-out line in a store who doesn't acknowledge the person who is waiting on them. They don't make eye contact; they don't say thank you. They roughly grab their bag. And the cashier moves on to the next person who does the very same thing. I can imagine that it gets to be a drag after a while, being seen as a non-person. So when the cashier is less than polite to me, I try to remember that and try to treat them kindly. Usually I get kindness in return. Not always.

I think sometimes we are a society that feels hard done by. So we project outward our miserable feelings to others. Like 'why should I be nice, no one is nice to me'.

And those are the people who drive me crazy.

I even see it at work. You would think that hospice nurses are nice all of the time. Not true. Some are burned out, and for good reason. They are generally nice to the patients, as it should be. But they are not always nice to each other. And some of the administrators? I think they get enjoyment out of picking on every little thing we do wrong.

It is daunting at times.

I always have said that I like to work. I enjoy my work. It is the people I have to work for that make it hard.

Oh, well. Such is life.

The other thing that makes me crazy about people is how they complain all of the time. I mean, ALL of the time. About stupid things that are really meaningless. It is like they enjoy complaining, or talking about other's faults.

I wish I could show them what real problems are.

But I guess that is life. It cannot be avoided.

I personally like to surprise people. When my boss, who is a nice enough lady, but a real nudge, gives me a hard time, I look at her and apologize. Even when I know I did nothing wrong. It takes the wind out of her sails and she usually ends up apologizing to me for picking apart something that never even needed to be talked about in the first place. Like my charting. Or some boo-boo I made on my payroll input. She could drive me crazy if I allowed her to. But I don't. I choose to take away that power from her.

And I guess that is how I handle all the crazy people I come into contact with each and every day. I take away their power by not letting them get to me. Or by responding with kindness. Or by ignoring the ignorant driver who won't let me cut in by just imagining that they perhaps have to rush to the side of a sick child. That allows me to let them off the hook. It changes my perspective on things. It protects my own sanity.

Protecting our own sanity from the craziness of others is what we should be doing every single day. We spend way too much time wondering why people do what they do. We should instead be spending more time asking ourselves why we are doing it; why we are worrying about it, thinking about it, obsessing about it. Why we are letting it bother us so much.

We should let that go, because we will never really know, try as we may. And then we should look for ways to protect ourselves.

I love being around happy people. I love it when people acknowledge my presence. So I try to do that for others.

It doesn't always work. But it makes me feel better.

And really, that is the best we can hope for.

Nobody really cares if you're miserable, so you might as well be happy. ~Cynthia Nelms

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. ~Dalai Lama

If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years. ~Bertrand Russell

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