The other day my daughter and I were at Target shopping for her camp supplies. I had my list, and was fairly certain that a behemoth store like Target would have most of what was on my list.
So, imagine my surprise when a clerk told me that the store did not carry tooth brush holders or soap containers.
I thought, “impossible Target must have these items!” So, I asked another clerk, who sent us off to the household department. I must not have made myself clear because all we saw were items for the bathroom.
So, I asked the next clerk, “where would I find travel toothbrush holders and soap containers.” “Yes, that is by the toothbrushes, “ he said. That was the first place that I looked, but I certainly could have missed it. I asked him to accompany us because I did not want to go on a wild goose chase, again. It was a good thing because it was not where he said it was. But, with his help, we did eventually find it. “Excellent,” I thought, “we could cross those off our list.”
However, at this point I was FRUSTRATED after spending so much time looking for two items! Now off to find non-aerosol, nontoxic insect repellent. “Could we find this at Target,” I wondered. I didn’t hold out much hope when I asked another clerk where I could find insect repellent. In an convincing voice, she said, “G5.” So, off we went to G5. The aisle heading for G5 was PEST CONTROL!
At that point, my daughter and I both broke out into laughter. Then my frustration dissipated. Yes, just like that, it went away.
I found humor in the situation. The humor served to break through the frustration. Once this shift in attitude happened, I was able to put our shopping expedition into a more helpful perspective. Here are all the things that went through my head:
- It is just a soap dish etc.!
- Perhaps, I should have asked for insect repellent for the body. Maybe I was not being specific enough.
- Maybe they were doing the best they could.
- It is a large store, and they are always reorganizing the shelves, especially seasonal products. It makes sense that the clerks, especially if they work part time, might not know where everything is in the store.
- We have time, and will eventually get everything.
Then I relaxed. By the time we left, I was tired and hungry, but not frustrated.
For many with ADD, it is easy to go from 0 to 100 mph on the Frustration Highway. It is harder, though, to put on the brakes, and gain a perspective on the situation. While it is certainly not realistic to keep frustration completely at bay, we can practice choosing how to respond to situations that we are faced with every day. Being curious and creating alternative scenarios may help keep things in perspective.
- A person cuts you off in traffic. Is he late for an interview or work?
- A friend does not call. Is she tired, overwhelmed with work or possibly under the weather?
- A clerk at a store is curt with you. Is he having bad day?
But by doing this, you will be able to exit much sooner. And I promise you, it will leave in a much better state!