OK, let’s start with a confession. I’m not always happy. I mean, who can really be happy all of the time, right? Certainly not me but this is a little mantra that I repeat to myself when I start to feel like I’m losing it! Just like times when my hubby goes for a shower and undresses himself on the way, leaving a trail of clothes along the way to mark his route like Hansel and Gretel. Or when my little girl knocks over my antique hollow-stem champagne flute by accident and smashes it into a million pieces. This is where choosing happy comes in… I can choose happy, or choose to lose it.
You see, I pride myself on keeping a routine at home that keeps my house neat, tidy and clean the majority of the time and when that is compromised by thoughtless, lazy behaviour I start to lose it a bit. My scale of ‘losing it’ is directly related to what kind of day I’ve had and I’ll admit, sometimes it’s easier to blow my top than to just pick up the clothes and get on with it. I talk a lot about my routine over on my Facebook Page.
At this point though, I have to ask myself… “what do I want?”
Do I want to raise my voice, speak nastily and begin an argument? Do I want to just pick up the clothes, put them in the washing basket and go on my merry way without comment? Do I want to make a sarcastic comment and be disrespectful? Or do I want to choose happy?
Here’s the reason why I choose happy (most of the time). Choosing happy means that I speak respectfully and calmly and this results in helping others see my point of view or understanding how I feel. Choosing happy means that I am respectful to others and that’s very important to me. Choosing happy means that I can show the other person what I value with the hope that their behaviour will change (hubby has now transitioned from dropping his clothes everywhere, to ‘throwing’ his dirty clothes at the washing basket. Even if he misses, at least he is close!). Choosing happy means that my body remains calm and relaxed and this is so important for my self care.
Sometimes choosing happy means biting my tongue, but don’t worry, I’m no push over. I’m very assertive and clear. There’s a fine line between being assertive and aggressive and when I remember to ‘choose happy’ when responding to people, I am choosing to deliver my frustration in an appropriate way.
I started choosing happy about 3 months ago and I have seen a marked difference in my relationships. I’ve also tried it in the workplace and it’s been able to diffuse many situations where things could have really blown up.
Tash’s Top Tips for ‘Choosing Happy’
When responding to someone who has frustrated you, always remember to:
- Speak firmly, but calmly
- Raise your words, not your voice
- Start with ‘this has made me feel’
- Always state the behaviour you would prefer to see
- Say it, allow a response, then let it go
As I write these last words, I have just heard the sound of a gazillion pieces of Tupperware falling out of the cupboard onto the floor and my 3 year old say “uh-oh.” This is the perfect opportunity for me to take a deep breath and ‘choose happy.’
Try it for yourself!