Minimizing Stress; It’s About You
Call it a case of maturing or simply an attitude that ‘life is too short’ to spend it on self-created drama, but I’m learning to pull back and withdraw from negative behavior that doesn’t necessarily affect me OR negative attitudes that don’t need to suck me dry of all my positive energy; in either case, if you don’t serve to make my life better, then you won’t be served. Sounds really cut-and-dry, but some of life’s choices are really black-and-white. I read some of my favorite bloggers post about situations that ring of self-imposed drama – they create these suspenseful, negative or no-win situations and then live to tell how they were victorious – or not – in combating them. The real question is, why do it to begin with? BD and I recently had a conversation regarding infidelity (a hot topic for so many relationships) and one that I think should be discussed openly in any partnership. As I mentioned to him, I can’t foresee myself cheating at this stage in the game and would more than likely bring any thought of stepping-out to his attention. For me, it boils down to an issue of minimizing drama. If I feel the need to sleep with someone else – and for the record, BD and I are so passionately sexual with each other that I don’t have my sexual interest piqued by anyone outside of our relationship – it would just be simpler to bring it to his attention and either get a go-ahead or a ‘let’s be friends.’ Then there are some basic stressors that can be minimized or extinguished with the simple click of a button. There are folks that are trapped in a negative rut. They call you and ‘bitch and moan’ for what seems like hours with no real solution on the horizon. There’s never really a time that these folks have anything positive to say. You’ll find that you’re consistently interjecting with, “Everything will be okay….” or “no you’re not having a streak of bad luck…” the truth is THEY aren’t – YOU ARE! Now don’t get me wrong, you should be sympathetic and supportive of your friends, but when there is nothing positive and you are simply being used as a back-up battery to recharge your friend with every conversation, it’s time to cut it off. Hit that ‘Ignore’ button and realize that you are being drained of everything positive within you. We’re all entitled to a rough patch, but when that patch becomes a dirt road to nowhere, cut your losses and be still…you aren’t the bad guy for saving yourself. A couple of years ago I had a motto of not taking calls on weekends before noon and not answering my phone if I was in the middle of something important. Since my return to New York I revised my own rules to accommodate my friends and family only to find that I’m expected to answer their calls or suffer their hang-up-call-back repeated calls with insults about my reasons for not being available. This has all changed. This weekend I promised myself to answer the phone when I’m available and only when I’m truly available. This means that when I’m simply not in a position to give my full attention, I don’t answer any calls – save for my mom and my man – who will be told I need to call them right back. Technology and the advent of mobile phones has to be used for what it was intended – a convenience item for ME to use; not a ball-and-chain making me available to everyone 24-7. The ultimate message is simple, whether it’s friends, family or work that drain you, it will continue until YOU decide to control your own life and the exchanges in it. In the end, folks will come to understand that your time is precious and that whether you want to lie on your side for an hour or speak to them is strictly up to you. Like any commodity you are as desirable and popular as you are scarce and exclusive. Make yourself important to you and you will be important to and respected by everyone else.
They say you should practice saying “No” while standing in front of a mirror until you are comfortable with saying it. You set the rules that improve your quality of life.
What area of your life has seen some stressful twists because of your inability to assert control?
Keep passin’ the open windows…