Take the regular stress of the holiday season and then add taking exams and waiting for final grades, or, on the opposite end, writing, giving, and grading final exams, and you have the end-of-fall semester-blues on campuses everywhere. Some folks are anxious. Some are irritable. And all have a tendency to overreact.
So let’s give everyone an early holiday present. Let’s give everyone a free bad moment: We don’t snap back. We don’t hold grudges. We just smile and let it go.
- Someone steals our parking space at the mall. Instead of simmering over it and replaying all the things we could have done, we drive on and find another one.
- Someone snaps at us because we’re not helping them fast enough. We simply redirect the complaint into a useful question or comment.
- A student comes in late to the final. Assuming that this was a honest mistake and not part of a regular pattern, we don’t make him feel worse by pointing out how late he is. We just hand him the test.
- A man in a crowded store that is already blaring Christmas music is having a loud and inappropriate conversation on his cell phone. Instead of ‘accidentally’ bumping into him, ‘accidentally’ knocking his phone to the floor and ‘accidentally’ stomping on it, we simply walk away.
So let’s start the tradition today: Overlook someone’s annoying behavior. Hey, someone might do the same for you!