I have been so stressed and busy for the last … oh, I don’t know 10-15 years, that I have developed, without really realizing it, a voice that I use automatically when someone asks me something.
I don’t answer nicely. I don’t like this about myself. I have tried to change it. And I’m still trying to change it.
It needs to be changed.
When I review recent events in my mind, what jumps out at me the most is how I responded to people.
For example, we recently celebrated my son’s birthday. When the cake was served, someone said that we should be taking pictures because my son looked so cute and involved in eating his cake (in his mind, this is what his birthday party was all about). My response, as I pointed to the desk where the camera was: “There’s a camera. Go ahead.”
My tone: absolutely not necessary.
If either of my children had spoken like that, I would have reprimanded them for being rude. And yet, here I was, being rude. I was in a fantastic mood. The birthday party was going along great. Everyone was having a good time (including me). There was no reason at all for my tone of voice. But when I’m faced with a question or comment and I’m also in the middle of doing something else (in this instance, I was cutting and serving the birthday cake), I can’t seem to respond in a nice way. Rudeness is my default.
Now, don’t misunderstand. I’m not a terrible person. I’m not even that rude, nor is my tone that rude necessarily. But I hear it in my voice, even if no one else does. And I can definitely respond in a nicer way. I’m a nice person. This shouldn’t be that hard.
And I count myself lucky that my children haven’t completely picked up that behaviour from me. But the day is coming.
And so, my nasty voice has to go!
I’m instituting the 5 second rule. I have to count to 5 before I open my mouth no matter what it is that I’m about to say or to whom I am about to say it.
I’ll keep track of my progress with specific examples of when I have been good and when I have been bad.
Maybe I’ll learn my lesson if I see it all written down in front of me. This won’t be easy to do or to experience since it causes me a lot of guilt after I behave rudely. But it’s time that I smarten up.