Thursday, August 19, 2010

I need an attitude adjustment

I have a tendency to take things personally. B would probably say that last sentence is a gross understatement and that I actually take everything personally, not just some random, abstract "things." Case in point: yesterday morning when we woke up, I stripped the bed, put the sheets in the washing machine and started making up the bed with clean sheets. B called out from the kitchen, "Oh, you're washing the sheets?" And my immediate reaction was to say, "Yeah, I am. We're going up to my parents tonight and I want clean sheets when we get back and the last time I changed the sheets was a week ago, and I want clean sheets, so what?" And B looked at me like I was crazy. Which I was. Why on earth was I being so defensive about changing the sheets? Who freaking cares? Oh right, apparently I do.

The reason I bring this up is because this tendency has reared its ugly head while planning our wedding. If B makes a comment about something that I've done for the wedding, most times I take it as a criticism that I didn't do it right and therefore he's unhappy. When in reality, most of the time B is just asking a question about something that didn't make sense to him. Or commenting that maybe there's a different way we could do things. Or just asking if he heard me correctly. He is a very calm, level headed guy who would never set out to make me feel badly about anything. So WHY do I always take it that way?

Another place this has come up is with my mom. When we were looking at venues and she immediately shot down all these places that I thought would be great locations for a wedding, I took all of that to heart as criticism of what I wanted our wedding to look like and feel like. She didn't mean it that way at all - she was just expressing her opinion about issues that each of the locations might have for our particular situation and wondering if I had thought about them. But again, I took it personally.

So I'm attempting a new thing. Stop and think before I react. Take a few seconds to think about what someone is saying. Find out what they are really commenting on or asking me about. Take a moment to remember that whatever they are saying is not anything that I need to take personally, and then respond as necessary. This is probably a good thing for me to implement in other areas of my life, as I really need to stop assuming that everyone hates my ideas and thinks I'm an idiot. We'll see how this goes. But hopefully it will make the wedding planning process a bit smoother in the long run (and, you know, life as well!).

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