Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Control yourself - you can't control anyone else

This morning I was pretty angry. The trains aren't running so Mike was driving me to work and he'd been really grumpy all morning. As he dropped me off he said "I need a holiday. I have a deadline next Wednesday so I'm probably going to take Thursday and Friday off. Bye." and drove off.

As I walked in to work I was absolutely fuming. He's given me no time to ask for the days off so I guess he'll be enjoying a long weekend at home without me. I was having angry imaginary conversations with him about why he didn't ask me to join him, or give me more notice, or be less grumpy etc etc.

Then I remembered, I can't control Mike. I can't make him be charming 100% of the time, or 80% or 50%, he's his own person. All I have control over is myself. I can choose to be angry at Mike and fume about it, or I can choose NOT to be angry and get on with my day; so I chose the latter.

Once you step back from the tumult of the emotion the clear air gives you the space for compassion. I realised Mike was being grumpy because he was under a lot of stress and not coping well; he needed my support not my anger. He mentioned his planned time off as he was leaving because he'd just thought of it - there was no malicious plan to have a holiday without me. Anyway why not? 

Having time to yourself when you're not at work and not with your partner is important. I want more time like this so I certainly won't begrudge Mike some. So with the awareness of having control over yourself and NOT having control over others I turned anger into compassion, and when I see Mike tonight I'm not going to shout at him, I'm going to look after him instead.

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