A couple months ago, as a favor to a friend of mine, I was the speaker at a temple in Brooklyn. In addition to the members of her congregation, my friend invited Joe, a friend of hers, who I knew and who wanted to hear me speak.
A couple of weeks ago, I saw Joe again and he told me about a couple of experiences working on things I had said.
The first story related to a doctor’s appointment. Joe was going to a 3:00pm appointment at a specialist and, because it was his first time at that doctor, the doctor’s office had called the day before and asked him to arrive at 2:30pm to fill out paperwork. He arrived even earlier, but ended up waiting two-and-a-half hours before he was seen by the doctor.
As he waited, he became angry. Several times he walked to the reception desk to ask what was going on. He had kept his anger under control until one time when the person behind the desk didn’t seem to be listening to him, texting while Joe complained about the situation.
Joe snapped. “Put the damn phone down and go find out when I’m going to be seen,” he yelled. The young man put the phone down, left the room, came back a couple of minutes later, and told Joe he’d be seen right away. Joe was finally taken to an examination room…35 minutes after that!
Once in the room, a nurse came in, greeted him with a huge smile, and said, “I understand you’ve been waiting a long time. I’m so sorry.” All of Joe’s anger melted away. He said to her, “I was so angry before you came into the room. But you were so nice, and so friendly, I’m not angry anymore.”
Joe told me the experience made him the realize the power of letting things go. For example, letting it go when someone does something dangerous in a car, like cutting you off on the highway, rather than getting angry, cursing them out, steaming about the experience, and complaining about it to others for the rest of the day.
Soon after that, Joe was waiting at a supermarket deli counter on Christmas Eve. After he got his food from the deli, he backed up and bumped into someone, who yelled, “You bumped into my order. You almost knocked it over.”
Without hesitation, and like the nurse, Joe greeted the other shopper with a huge smile and said, “I’m sorry about that. Merry Christmas,” and he stuck out his hand to shake the other man’s hand. They shook hands, the other man said, “Merry Christmas,” and they went on their separate ways.
Joe imagines the gentleman in the market went home and told his family about his surprisingly pleasant supermarket experience.
Joe is happy he’s been working on controlling his anger. He is seeing a payoff for his happiness, his health, and how he is impacting others.
How about you? Do you get angry and let it ruin your day? Or have you learned how to let it go when things don’t go your way? Please join the conversation with your comments…