Apparently, attitude is a decision.
A co-worker spent the day today reminding us that your own attitude is a decision you make. I think, for the most part, that she’s right. Generally speaking, you decide on your own attitude. There are always things that can make you feel a certain way, but you decide how you react to them.
It sounded a little new age-y and I wasn’t sure how I felt about it initially. I tend to be a very volatile and reactionary person. I have a mercurial attitude, and there are a lot of things that are able to get under my skin. I’m especially vulnerable when I’m already stressed or worn down. I do think that people don’t understand my personality sometimes.
I’m not saying that they should have to like the way I sometimes can act, because I know it could come across differently when you can’t see inside my head. I vocalize a LOT of things. When something happens, I vent. When I’m unhappy, I complain. When I get frustrated, I express that loudly and verbally. All that is just my pressure release valve. Sometimes I just need to get all of those thoughts and feelings out so that I don’t stew over them.
Take my reluctance to mow the lawn when I was in high school. I knew when the lawn needed mowed, but I would always wait for my dad to tell me to do it. Then I would whine and complain and mope around about how much I hated it. That never meant that I wasn’t going to do, I just wanted to get all of my complaining out first.
I know that isn’t always fair to the people who have to listen to it, but I just operate a little better that way. I think out loud. I work through my problems better out loud. I process information better out loud. I remember things better when I talk about them out loud. It’s more the act of vocalizing it than it is anything else. Just one of my quirks I guess.
All of that being said, I think my co-worker had a point. If you decide to let everyone else control your attitude, you end up feeling helpless and defensive all day. Every time something happens, it happens to you, without your consent. When you become an active participant in your own attitude, you don’t let other people determine how you feel as easily.
I’ll have to keep that in mind this week. Give a good effort at deciding how my day is going to be, and then operating within that framework. I’ll let you know if I manage to give it a solid try.