THE ABILITY TO MANAGE STRONG FEELINGS AND IMPULSES.

trafficThe Third fundamental step in Resilience is managing strong feelings and impulses.  In my book I refer to this as anger.

Anger is the immediate gratification issue.

It is actually more selfish, ‘I want what I want when I want it.’

I was watching 20/20 and they did a show on parking lot road rage; People who were physically fighting over parking spots on the road and in parking lots. They did an experiment in a shopping mall lot where at guy was saving this space for someone yet to come.

Some people drove off; many argued with him and drove into the slot anyways.  Some barely missed him and many had less than nice words for him.

They even showed an incident in which two men got into a fight.  The one the police was interviewing said it was self-defense.  Apparently the other guy died from his injuries.  Involuntary Manslaughter; All over a parking space.

When I lived in Chicago I use to call it the Chicago effect.  Big cities drivers seemed to want to park as close as possible to the front door.

I understood how sacred a parking space near your apartment was.  I even paid for my spot.  Coming from small town America I thought that was humorous, until it snowed. My spot held two cars front to back.  I would shovel the snow into the front spot to have space for my car.

My neighbors would borrow my snow shovel, shovel out their spot on the road and put a garbage can in the spot to keep it. First the snow took up space and limited parking and after all that work you wanted to OWN that real estate.

Several years ago the wife of our Senator got into a tiff with someone at a Home Depot parking lot in the Washington DC area over a parking space.  She insisted the parking was hers and someone else snuck into it.  It made the news back home.  The senator’s wife was in the wrong and was fined for her behavior.

This is what I learned about parking.  You might start looking closet to the door, but accept that you will be parking in the “back 40.”

I recommend two things:

1. Expect something to go wrong.  If it does go wrong; no surprises. If it doesn’t it’s a gift.

2. There really is power in counting to 10. It temporarily distracts you from the moment and it will take the edge of the impulsive response, verbal or physical.

Until next time, Maureen