So one of the things I say a lot, and firmly believe is "If you want to change someone's reaction, you have to change your own actions". The first time I heard this I was completely blown away. I also didn't think it would work. People consistently do and say the same things and expect to get different results. I have heard that this is the definition of stupidity. I don't know that I agree with that. Mostly I think its just human nature. It is like trying to sweep up a string with the vacuum cleaner, no matter how many times you go over it, it just lays there, mocking you. I am quite sure we have all done that. I know I have. Comedians have made entire routines around this exact concept.
It all involves taking a proactive approach to a situation as opposed to a reactive approach. What this means is, instead of waiting for someone else to do something for you to react to, do something first. Be the one to cause the reaction, because then you have more control over the situation. If no one pays attention to you when you yell, stop, just whisper. Watch what happens! This worked wonders with my kids a few years ago.
Another example is, when someone you often go to the movies with invites you, and when they drive you are always late, not late enough to miss the movie per se, but late enough to miss the previews, which you enjoy a lot. OFFER TO DRIVE!!! Don't wait for them to offer and then be late so that you can spend the entire movie being angry because you missed the previews! Take matters into your own hands! Control your own destiny! Thank you YODA.
Now I know that I am a radical control freak. This will come as no surprise to anyone who knows me at all. Some people may think that this is just a way to manipulate a situation to your own advantage, and maybe it is. Would that be so awful? Especially if the other person doesn't really care one way or the other who drives? I think not. Why shouldn't you fix a problem to your advantage? It's better than suffering lingering consequences because you didn't.
I am such a control freak that my husband must be a saint. I swear. I become physically ill when it appears that I may not be early. Not late, or even on time, but EARLY! When we go to the grocery store together and he puts the groceries on the belt, I can't watch. This is NOT a joke. I like to put them in a certain order, cold things with other cold things, eggs and bread last (so they don't get smashed), personal items separate from the food, and so on... He just flings it up there with out looking. I am sweating by the time I get to the car. Now it makes no difference at all how it goes on the belt or gets bagged, it all gets thrown in the car and taken home and put away just the same. I know this, which is why I try not to say anything. Only he knows me so well he can tell I am climbing out of my skin and recently he just looked at me and said, "Why don't I just hand you the stuff and you can put it on the belt?" Not sarcastically, just doesn't want me to be crazy. What a guy!
So maybe I am a control freak, but I am conscious of it. Is it so wrong for me to pass on my manipulative skills for you to use to make your life easier?! I think not!