Fun fact: I can be a real brat sometimes. And I mean it in a childlike, pouty, tantrum throwing, less-than-mature way. Granted it’s not flattering to admit and people who know me are probably thinking, “Wow, Sky... Tell us something we don’t know,” but it’s true and it’s not like I don’t know this about myself. I do. So let’s talk about being bratty.
While I’m happy 95 percent of the time and try to be 100 percent of the time, I have been known to be pretty hot tempered and easily annoyed when things don’t go the way I think they should. These attributes aren’t something I’m particularly proud of, but it’s part of who I am and not counting Mary Poppins, none of us is perfect. Does it somehow justify my bad behavior if I tell you my dad was a very hot tempered New Yorker? Because I want that fact entered as evidence for the defendant.
There’s a good portion of time that my bratty response to something is probably justifiable (at least to me) and then, there are times I just flat out overreact. To be clear, I’m not talking about responding to people who disrespect you. I was raised to stand up for myself in those instances and that’s not part of my character that will change. It’s also important for you to set some boundaries for people who try to walk on you, disrespect you or treat you unkindly. Outside of being disrespected, my instinct to pop off and respond quickly to situations does not always benefit me, but again, it’s who I am, so as I write these things, they are as much for me to consider as they are for you. I’ve gotten much better than I was in my younger years.
Let’s not pretend I’m the only one who does this though, because I’ve met a lot of you and, well let’s just say, I know I’m in good company. So if you’re being honest with yourself, what are you unnecessarily bratty about? What triggers you to get so annoyed that you’re now a boiling pot of mad?
Is it: Your job? A messy kitchen? Your partner not answering your text quickly enough? Slow drivers? A bad hair day? Your kids? People not doing things how you think they should be done? All of these? If you’re anything like me, it could be all of them at some point or another. #Guilty
Even though we all act like this sometimes, it really isn’t helpful to anyone, including ourselves, so we need to be able to have some things we can do to fix this and we all know the first step to fixing a problem is admitting we have one. “Hello, I’m Skyla, and I can be a real brat sometimes.”
What are the next steps in our brat recovery, you ask? Well, here are five things I try to remember, which is not an all-inclusive list, so by all means feel free to email me your ideas.
- Wait to respond. Count to 10 and take a deep breath. Wait 24-48 hours if your response could really have serious implications in your life. Remember that once you say something, you can’t unsay it. Consult a wise and levelheaded friend if you’re at ALL unsure how to respond.
- Allow others some grace. We all mess up sometimes. Not everyone is going to do things the way you think they should and they don’t have to. You wouldn’t want people to micromanage your every move, so don’t do it to others.
- Express gratitude. If, for the majority of the time, you are sincerely appreciative and thankful to those around you, when you do have your brat-infused moments, they will be easier to forgive and move past.
- Apologize when you’re wrong. If you do something wrong and it hurts another person, even if that wasn’t the intention, apologize and be sincere.
- Manage your time. If you’re anything like me, I tend to have less patience and be much quicker to anger when I am rushed or overwhelmed. Manage your life so that you’re not constantly under a ridiculous amount of unnecessary stress and constantly one step behind your life.
Getting upset is part of life and we’ll all find ourselves there at some point, but don’t stay there. Get up, brush the dirt off, help anyone else you knocked down in your wake, get on with your life, and be wiser for the lessons learned. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t make a habit of being bratty. You only get one life and it should be spent loving it.
Contributing writer Skyla Teel is a wife, mom, professor, rodeo coach and life coach. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her column, “Loving Life,” runs on the first Wednesday of every month on the Casa Grande Dispatch Valley Life page.