So, a lot of you guys have read my book excerpts page, which contains some crazy suggestions for how to properly behave in a bathroom–ewww…ick! But I wanted to share this next excerpt with you because I had dinner with a girlfriend the other night and she said that this particular part of my book changed her life. Yay!!! Now, while this section is out of the book for the ladies, it applies to both men and women alike. I think I’m going to put this one in the new book too because I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on it and it should not just be in the chick book. I hope you like it and that it helps you quell fits of rage!
Live by the 10 to the 5th power rule. (Can’t do superscripts, dangit!)
What, you may ask, is the 10 to the 5th power rule? This is how it breaks down. When something aggravates me I think to myself, “Am I still going to be mad about this in 10 minutes? 10 hours? 10 days? 10 months? 10 years?” My reaction to the situation is determined by how long what is happening is going to affect me.
- 10 minutes? Sit and grumble and curse to yourself for a minute and then let it go. It’s not worth the stress to harp on it.
- 10 hours? Maybe have a short (VERY short) conversation with the person who has made you mad, but keep it to less than 5 minutes, don’t get riled up, and then let it go. If you won’t care about it tomorrow, is it worth causing a fight that might still bother you tomorrow? Probably not.
- 10 days? It needs to be dealt with, but don’t beat it to death. While not sweating the small stuff will likely give you a longer and healthier life, you do have to sweat some things. If you are still going to be pissed in 10 days, then you need to air your grievance and find a way to come to some sort of conclusion about it.
- 10 months? This is a real issue that could impact your overall happiness. If something annoys you today that will still be rubbing you the wrong way almost a year from now, then a serious discussion is necessary to iron it out and clear the air. This type of incident is not the kind to sweep under the rug. Doing so will only do further damage to you, to him and to your relationship.
- 10 years? This is likely one of those, “This needs to change or I’m going to have to do something drastic,” types of conversations. This is another reason why it’s so important to tell your man what makes you angry and what you consider to be deal-breakers. He has to KNOW not to do this kind of stuff or it’s hard to hold him responsible for doing it (keeping common sense in mind, of course—you may never have explicitly told him not to bed your sister, but if he does, Hell hath no fury, right?).
Just like we talked about before, when learning how to have “talks” with your man, if you decide that what has happened is important enough to address, then it’s important to broach the subject of your anger in a calm, timely, non-accusatory, non-defensive way.
If what has happened is so dramatic that it’ll affect you for a year or ten years down the line, then give yourself some time to figure out how to respond. You don’t have to fly into a rage immediately. You don’t need to burst into sobs right in front of him. Sometimes, it is a great idea to step into another room and just process. Then you can cry or punch a wall or call him every name in the book while you are alone. Process the rage or hurt by yourself, and then come up with the most productive way of handling both him and the situation.
Yet again, it’s about picking your battles. The 10-minute battles are usually not worth fighting about, so just let them roll off your back. Having that kind of attitude will save you from having a million fights about who forgot to buy the milk. All those tiny irritations just aren’t worth the negative energy and the constant, underlying vibe of annoyance and disharmony. You’ll find that when you and your man live in a home where you accept each other and don’t pick over the small things, your home will be a warmer and more wonderful place to live for both of you. Ahhh…bliss…