I Had Every Right to Be Mad! But It Wasn’t Going to Make Things Better

 In Better Life, Negative emotions

I finally had an opportunity to use the gift card I’d been given a few weeks ago for a volunteer project. It was for a store I never go to, but I was willing to make a special trip. My daughter and I explored the store and finally found a couple of items we liked that added up to just over the $50 on the card.

At the self-checkout, we couldn’t get the gift card to work. We waited for help, but the clerk didn’t have any luck, no matter what she tried. So she sent us up to the customer service counter.

After more waiting, the assistant at the counter had similar bad luck. He kindly used his cell phone to call the number on the card. It took him many tries before he was finally able to connect with a real person. He handed his phone to me so I could answer the questions directly.

“Where did you buy this card?” the voice asked. I told them I had received it as a gift. They said that it had not been activated when it was purchased so they would need the receipt as proof. I would also need to mail in a copy of the card and my identification. After receiving all the necessary information, it would take only three days to process it.

I had already been getting impatient with the hassle and the waiting so far. AND it looked like we weren’t going to be able to use the gift card that day. So much for helpful customer service and me ever visiting this store again, I thought. We told the clerk we didn’t want our items after all and left the store.

I was mad! I couldn’t believe they wouldn’t find a way to honor the card! I was noticing my strong reaction. It was so unfair! We had wasted so much time! I told my daughter that I didn’t like how I was feeling, and I wanted to find something to learn from this frustrating situation.

Then it hit me . . .

Most people would say that I had every right to be mad. And because it felt unfair, my natural instinct was to get upset. But my negative emotions weren’t going to change what happened. The only person who was suffering was me. It really wasn’t a big deal so why should I waste energy on it? 

After having this conversation with my daughter (and several times with myself), I took a few deep breaths and decided I was done. I wasn’t going to dwell on it and let it affect the rest of my day.

Have you ever had “every right to be mad” but knew that feeling this way wouldn’t make things better? Next time, try to stop your suffering sooner by recognizing that you’re wasting your time and energy. You don’t have to stay mad. Have that conversation with yourself and take several deep breaths.

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