By MJ Ali
Do you ever find yourself baffled by acts that defy the laws of logic and basic decency? We all make up inner scenarios as a way of creatively dispelling the frustration, confusion and sometimes even anger when someone does something illogically disrespectful.
These kinds of things happen to all of us. There’s nothing we can do to prevent them, but at least we can find creative ways of processing them inside our heads.
Here are a few of mine:
Situation 1: The cut-in-fronter
I get cut off in traffic, forcing me to slam on my brakes even though there’s no one behind me and it would have been logical (and safer) for them to, I don’t know, perhaps merge behind me.
Outer Reaction: I give the driver extra room.
Inner Scenario: I imagine them in a tiny clown car complete with costume and a squeaky horn attached to the little plastic dashboard. Their speed limit is like, 10mph, so people keep cutting in front of him. They honk. A lot.
Situation 2: We absolutely have that
Before making a special trip to a store for a hard-to-find item, I call ahead to make sure they have it in stock. I’m assured they do (the staff person did leave the phone for a while and, you know, said “we’ve got plenty!”), so I make the trip after a really long work day, and it’s not actually in stock.
Outer Reaction: disappointment but with the understanding that we’re all just human doing the best we can.
Inner Scenario: I turn into a grizzly bear and ransack the produce section. A little over the top but hey, I’m a bear.
Situation 3: Parking lot bully
A very entitled University student driving a $40k vehicle screeches into a parking lot and almost hits me while grabbing the space I’m pulling into. When I look shocked, he physically challenges me and makes some “creative” remarks, laughs and walks away. We end up in the same store and he’s a couple of people ahead of me in the checkout line.
Outer Reaction: he doesn’t notice me in line behind him, but when his very expensive sunglasses drop from his pocket and the person behind him doesn’t react, I pick up the glasses and hand them to him, telling him I hope his day gets better. I actually meant it, and he could tell. He looked shocked. I just smiled and went back to my place in line. He glanced back with a sheepish grin.
Inner Scenario: didn’t need one. Inner scenario fulfilled when he realized people could be nice even when he’s not.
I really believe that humor is the cure for so much stupid stuff that makes no ethical, moral, practical, or logical sense whatsoever, and there’s too much stupid stuff to go around these days.
Silly humor, political humor, life humor, witty humor, and face-making humor (spontaneous silly face interactions with kids is my personal favorite) are my medicines. We can’t change the offensive actions of others, only how we handle and react to them.
Google these to find ways to offset and move beyond your own logic-defying experiences:
stress relief humor