Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's Not the World You're Mad At

There is a great line in the classic play, Cyrano De Bergerac. It is after Cyrano turns away a publisher. He starts to brag about how he would never bow down to anyone, just for the glory or a bribe. He says that he would rather be alone. His friend, Le Bret, asks him how he came to the idea that he must make enemies everywhere he goes. Cyrano answers, “By watching you make friends.” Cyrano is very eloquent and persuasive, but in the end, Le Bret seems to have one over on him when he says, “Tell this to the world—but not to me—to me, your friend, whisper softly that she loves you not.”

And there lies the rub… I was just thinking about how we take all the little things that bother us and project it onto the world. A lover rejects us. A publisher rejects us. We get a bad review. We don’t land the job. Our boss yells at us. Suddenly, the world sucks. People suck. You might go on the internet and start an argument with someone on their blog. Maybe you yell at someone who isn’t driving as fast as they should or who parked by your space all crooked. You take all your frustrations out on the customer service representative of photobucket. God does life suck! All it takes is for someone to ask you what is really bothering you and you realize that one little thing has turned into the whole universe turning against you.

I’ve come up with a new line that I use when a stranger snaps at me. I say, “I’m not the one you’re really mad at.” It does piss them off more, but you know it will at least make them realize that they are projecting.

Someone told me that, according to a business seminar they went to, it takes ten positive phrases of praise to make up for one negative one. We are so devastated by criticism. I also heard that successful people have an uncanny ability to ignore the negative stuff and only hear the positive stuff. Or at least, they don’t take it too personally.

I don’t know why I’m writing this. It’s just that… well… I guess I’d like to have a friend like Le Brett, someone who can tell when I’m just in a funk. Someone who will say, okay, what is really bothering you? So, really, if you hear me cursing the human race, know that I don’t really mean it. I’m just in a crappy mood.

I guess I’m pretty sensitive underneath this tough exterior. I’d cry on someone’s shoulder if I could but I wouldn’t know where to start.