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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pick your battles

Where's your bowtie?!
My daughter worked in an ice cream parlor and she came home one day upset because the boss wanted all the employees to wear BOWTIES!  She ranted and raved at the indignity of such a hideous requirement.  I listened to her go on and on and sympathized with the injustice of it all.  The next day when she was in a better mood, I reminded her that the owner had the right to dictate the dress code and that maybe she'd survive if she complied with the request.  I told her that some things are worth fighting for and some things just aren't.  She had the option of quitting her job if she felt it was the right thing to do or she could let it go and not make a big thing of it.  She grudgingly agreed with me even though she grumbled every time she put on her bowtie.

Learning which battles to fight and which to let go is a hard thing to do whether you're a teenager or an adult.  Yet the people who are able to discern between the two are less stressed out and happier than those who get upset over every annoyance that comes into their lives.  Let's face it - if we wanted to get mad, there are opportunities every day to justify our anger.  But is it worth it?  Does it make us feel better?

According to Dr. Richard Carlson, author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff ... and It's All Small Stuff, "Often we allow ourselves to get all worked up about things that, upon closer examination, aren't really that big a deal. We focus on little problems and concerns and blow them way out of proportion."   So, how about it?  Before you pick a fight, can you ask yourself if it's worth it?  Could you respond in a different way?  Do you have to prove yourself right at the expense of the relationship of a loved one?  Sometimes even if you "win" you lose.  That's why you might want to consider picking your battles carefully...even if it means wearing a bowtie.


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