TLDR: A handy test for checking whether you’re being a grown up, on your path to attaining Very Grown Up Enlightenment.
Today I was stopped at an intersection, in the left hand lane. Lots of traffic in both directions. One car ahead of me at the light. I don’t like the left lane, because there are left turners. But this person wasn’t turning, so I was good to go. The right lane (and opposing traffic) looked like something out of an apocalyptic evacuation scene, so I was pretty thrilled with my lane choice.
Then it happened: the car in front of me suddenly turned on its indicator. IT WAS TURNING LEFT!
My blood boiled. I attempted to shoot death beams from my eyes, but alas, those haven’t been working lately. I “TSKED” a bunch. I didn’t scream “YOU ASSHOLE” but I wanted to. I didn’t do anger-spreading by giving him the finger or honking! But believe me, it was close!
It was at this moment when I heard a voice in my head say “WAAAAAH WAAAAAH WAAAAAH! I don’t WANT TO BE STOPPED! I WANT TO GO NOooooooOW!!!!”. in a kind of 2-year old tone. And I thought “Ah. I’m throwing a tantrum”. Grow up. Get over yourself. Let go of your childish expectations. Roll your eyes and smile.
So this is the tantrum test! If you have a reaction to something, and you can re-frame the reaction as a 2 year old stomping his angry little foot or writhing around on the floor having a hissy fit, then you’re not being a grown up. Take a breath. Chill out. Realise you need to let go of your expectations. Look at the situation, and assess your options.
My option right then, in that traffic, was to wait until the next light to get through the intersection. That ended up being fine. I could have jumped straight to “fine” without causing the heart damage of all the anger and resentment. Without the fantasy laser beams shooting at the other driver.
I’ll do better next time!!!