If you find yourself doing any of these things on a regular basis:
- Giving someone the finger in traffic (or even thinking about it),
- Sticking it to the referee even though you know your team didn’t deserve to win,
- Complaining to friends or colleagues about your wife,
- Complaining to your wife about your friends or colleagues,
- Complaining to friends about your kids,
- Getting pissed-off every time you read the newspaper or watch the news,
- Resenting work when you used to thrive on it,
- Criticising our wonderful politicians*
I could go on, but that might be depressing.
If you’re guilty of any two of these things, then Cranky Bastard Syndrome has you in its sights. Three to five and you’re firmly in its grip. All eight and you’re probably not getting invited to many dinner parties.
Happily, the solution is simple, if not easy.
Just single out one of these nasty habits at a time and start to overcome it!
Notice whenever you’re tempted to engage in the behaviour. Stop, take a few deep breaths, and ask yourself what it is about it that’s upsetting you. If there’s nothing you can do to change the situation and you’re just ruminating over it, get over yourself!
Drop the criticism or the negative thoughts that are creeping in, accept that the World won’t always do your bidding, and focus on something you can act on, like giving someone close to you some positive feedback.
This does require commitment and practice, but you’ve faced tougher challenges before, and unless you really enjoy the stress those negative reactions cause, it’s well worth the effort.
* OK – this one might be justifiable……