As I’ve looked at how I treat people when they inconvenience me, I tried to figure out why I react as I do. This is standard for my bride and I; when you understand why you do something, it is generally easier to change what you do. Often (usually, almost all the time?) the “why” goes back to childhood. It seems many of us spend most of our lives trying to resolve childhood issues by acting in ways to proves we are not what someone said, or prove we can do certain things, or prove we won’t be certain things, or something like that. We try to prove things to people who are no longer a part of our daily lives, to people we no longer know, and even to people who are long dead! Some of these things are battles we still fight in our heads, while others have become more a matter of (bad) habits.
As I thought about it, I could easily see how things from growing up played into how I react when I am inconvenienced. As a kid, I often felt that my schedule was the least important, that I was expected to be inconvenienced. Maybe that’s just part of being a kid, maybe I had it worse than many, maybe I was aware of it earlier than most, maybe I was just overly sensitive to it. Whatever the reason, I felt wronged, and when I became an adult, I put that on others.
Another childhood issue was not feeling appreciated. I carried that into my adult life, and did some silly things to try to get appreciation. The problem is no amount of appreciation now can fix the past. I need to deal with those past hurts so they are not ruling me today.
Fortunately I was already aware of these particular past hurts, and have already come a long way in being free of them. This means my reaction to being inconvenienced is more habit than anything else, and that makes it a lot easier to deal with it.
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