Do you have a “Pet Peeve?”
You know, things that really annoy you? The little things that really irritate you…
We all have them. Some have no rhyme nor reason while others seem pretty valid.
These are usually based on your expectations or beliefs which are often handed down from your parents while others are based purely on your values and how you behave.
A Common Pet Peeve
I read an article recently about poor customer service. This is a “pet peeve” for many.
How many times have you been ignored or left waiting while a sales person behind the counter carried on a conversation with their colleague instead of serving you?
Or you sit in a restaurant and feel like you are being ignored by the service staff? Or your order takes FOREVER to come?
Now think about this… How might it feel for a person who is about to make the BIGGEST decision of their life – to place a loved one into care – and no one acknowledges them when they arrive?
The Negative Influence
The thing about “pet peeves” is it influences your opinion so you are unlikely to go back to the shop where you felt ignored or the restaurant that gave you bad service or the facility that ignored you when you arrived to view it.
“Pet Peeves” take precedence over the positive things that happen.
We remember the bad and not the good even though there is usually more good than bad from the experience – if we choose to look for them!
It’s All In Our Heads
Why are we so conditioned to see the bad in every situation?
Because what we perceive as being bad will stick around a lot longer than the good…
Why don’t we rave about the good? It seems we take it in our stride because that is what we expect.
So the moment someone or some business steps out of line and doesn’t meet our expectation…
Our decision is based on this one experience and will take precedence over every good experience.
We judge the business, friend or workplace in this manner FOREVER even if it is different people, owners or friends. Most people are unforgiving of a misdemeanor.
Don’t Let The Pet Peeves Get You Down
So how would it be if you changed the way you thought? If you changed the inner dialogue you tell yourself and pass on to others?
Is this the image you want to promote about yourself, your work or your life? What do you want others to see?
Is it possible that you could influence your own mental health? Is it possible that your neurons would respond better to an increase in positive experiences?
Mario Sigmund believes your words can predict your future mental health… Take a look in his talk.
Look For The Good
So what if a revolution was started by just one person who told 10 people to look for the good in every situation? Turn your bad customer experience into something good for instance?
For example, the person who ignored you in the shop, maybe the good from this experience is that it sent you to the next store where you made a better or more suitable purchase.
Let’s say a shoe salesman doesn’t engage with you when you go in a shop so you walk out.
It could be that they had the right pair of shoes in that shop… but how did you know as they didn’t try to assist you?
So you go to the next shoe shop and while there was nothing really on display the sales person engages with you and brings out a selection of shoes for you to try on.
You end up getting what you want at this shop then.
No you don’t need to put the other shop down… Just tell people you found this great place to shop. Don’t waste your energy on bad experiences – turn them into good.
Martin Seligman is the father of Pop Psychology or positive psychology. He has spent years examining what makes people happy.
Pop psychology was born because someone asked the questions and started to explore this subject.
You can see this early clip on him talking in 2004. So you know it has been around for a long time and is well advanced now.
How Do You Think Of Yourself?
What does the work psychologist conjure up in you? Is it something positive or do you think they are going to psychoanalyse you and judge you?
Are you someone who looks for what is wrong with you rather than all the things that are right with you?
Positive psychology promotes the way you can improve your own mental health by the way you think about yourself and this can be done by the quality of the words you use.
And when your own mental health is good… the quality of the lives of those in your care benefit greatly.
Yes You Can Do It!
Did you know that an optimist lives, on average, 5 years longer than a pessimist?
What that tells me is that you can influence brain function and change your pathways purely by the way you think and what you tell yourself.
If you tell yourself you can’t do something then you are right… but if you tell yourself you can do something then you are also right.
This is what stimulates creativity, improves your outlook on life and ultimately influences your mental health.
Mind Over Matter
For example, I injured my right arm recently. I was told by my hand therapist when she put my arm in a splint, that I could not use it.
She didn’t tell me how long this would go on for, just that I couldn’t use it.
Now most of my work is on the computer… I type. I use the mouse in my right hand. So I had to switch to my left hand, plus I was not allowed to touch type!
This was a problem… becauseI am not ambidextrous and I am not a teenager or child. So I have been using the same method of working for many years.
Switching to my left hand to be able to work was not easy.
However, what I have found is that even in my advancing age, I can change my way of thinking and working.
So instead of becoming frustrated and throwing the toys out of the cot, I have told myself I can do it. I can learn something new.
Learn Something New
I knew it would take time but I also knew I could do it if I put my mind to it.
And you know what? Even though I am now permitted to use my right hand, I am still using my left hand and getting better and better every day!
So I have decided to become proficient at using my left hand even though I could very easily change it back to my right hand.
You see, one of the best things you can do for brain health is to learn new things – regardless of your age.
It’s All Up To You
So I guess the answer lies with you, the individual. If you want to have a happier life, then spend less time looking for the bad in things and believing you can’t change, and spend more time in looking for the good in life and believing you can change.
And when you have a positive outlook on having a parent in your care… not only do you do more than you thought you could…
But this positivity trickles down to them and their way of life as well.
Listen to this by Carol Dweck who talks about the power of yet. You may not have mastered changing the way you view experiences YET but with practice you can change.
Believe In The Power Of Yet
Finally, I have not built my business by saying I can’t. It was founded in 2005 when I was recovering from a fractured ankle, living on my own with no income and a mortgage to pay.
I built it on the power of “I can” and “Yet” and believing that the right people would come at the right time to help me.
Starting something new from scratch has lots of obstacles to overcome, no more than the financial, but you see, my personal mottos are “there are no prizes for coming second,” and “the right people appear at the right time”.
You see believing in the power of YET (I have not reached my peak of potential yet) and believing there are” no prizes for coming second”, is a great motivator to keep moving forward.
I don’t waste my time on pet peeves any more or feeling unhappy. I look for the good in everything.
So if you are interested in changing a habit, like looking for the bad in everything living with your glass always half empty, and want to live a happier more fulfilled life, this may help.
Have a parent that’s a little hard to handle? Download our free Challenging Behaviors Guide to discover how you can figure out what’s going on and maintain the relationship with your parent.