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Day ‘ruiners’ — they are the real enemy

Forcing yourself to think about the good things makes you feel happier and a bit distracted from the upsetting comments

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Asian woman frowning unhappily at broken smart phone
Gulf News

All it takes is one stupid comment from someone to turn your entire mood around. You woke up and started your day with a smile. You had a great breakfast, drove to work and exchanged pleasantries with everyone around you. You chat with your desk mate, and laugh at the morning meeting. You’re even looking forward to your lunch. Then you pick up your phone and chat with someone. Text after text after text and then a line, that inexplicably messes up your mood. It’s not like they insulted you, or made fun of you, but they said something ... something that offended you. You aren’t crazy, or sensitive or weak, you just can’t help it sometimes. I like to call these people “day ruiners”. They are the worst!

You love them, but their existence challenges your resolve, tolerance and often your claim to sanity. It’s the people you don’t love that don’t reach the level of being able to ruin your day, because you simply don’t care enough about them. But day ruiners know you and perhaps they love you too, but they will say something to push your buttons. They know exactly what will feel like a stab to you. For 27 years, I have allowed myself to go through life dwelling and letting day ruiners ruin my mood. How do you even begin to overcome this?

When someone has a little bit of power over your emotions, it’s easy for their words to influence your state of mind. I always tried so hard to change people’s actions, so that I wouldn’t get upset. It didn’t exactly work out. Do you know how hard it is to change someone? Quite hard. I learned it the difficult way. If someone still doesn’t realise that saying certain day-ruining comments upset you, then you simply have to change your perception. Start caring less about things that they have to say. Sounds a little extreme, I know. But if a day ruiner, ruins your day yet again, work on a plan to detach yourself. I am tired of calmly and quietly expressing my aversion for distasteful jokes or rolling my eyes at an offensive comment. I now make a joke in return and practise some mind tricks to move on from the sting of having my mood ruined.

I’ll stop contacting my day ruiner. I’ll just pull away for a little bit. To be honest, because the ruiner is still an important part of my life, I can’t actually completely pull away, but it helps to do it for the day. I just distract myself with work and think about doing something new. Engaging in new activities sends feel-good hormones to your brain that make you feel happier. So I would give that a try. In those moments of annoyance and upset, I live and breathe positivity when someone makes a day-ruining comment. “Be positive” it sounds so lame, I know, but it actually works. Forcing yourself to think about the good things, actually makes you feel happier and a bit distracted from the upsetting comments.

These day ruiners don’t make mean comments or jokes every day, but the once in a while when it comes up, train yourself to move on quickly without dwelling on how bad they make you feel. Finally, treat yourself the way you want to be treated. If you believe you deserve loving friendships and relationships without day ruiners, then stop taking it. Don’t bring yourself down, walk away from disrespect and think of yourself as the most important person in your life.