A couple of weeks ago, I was in a group learning about offense and how expectations of ourselves or others can set us up to be offended. This is especially true if there is any difference between what happens and what we expect to happen in any situation. All of us are living this out right now with this whole Coronavirus thing - it is LIFE INTERRUPTED and DISRUPTED!
This was true for us! Scott and I had scheduled our first vacation in 2 years around our 38th anniversary in mid-March. We were very excited to get away to a place that we hadn’t been: Branson, Missouri! We had been looking online for show dates and times, and other area attractions to have some kind of plan. We left a couple of days early to spend the weekend enjoying quality with our daughter, her husband and their children, on our way! We had started hearing of states closing down due to the virus, so Sunday night we thought we would check out the status in Branson. Their local news said that they had no plans of closing down, so we were good to go...or so we thought!
As we were driving, we kept listening to the news looking forward to this time away. We arrived and as we were checking in to our resort, we asked about making reservations for the shows. We were happy that there was a dinner and show later that evening so we made a reservation. The concierge told us that there had been many shows that had cancelled for the rest of the week and she would keep us informed about any other closures. About an hour after we had unloaded our car and unpacked, Scott’s phone rang.
You can guess what happened next!
The show that we had made reservations for cancelled all shows until further notice and so did ALL of the other places that we wanted to go! Needless to say, that was NOT our expectation or plan and as disappointing as it was, we found out the next morning that the resort gym, pool, hot tub, and the rest of the local stores and attractions were going to be closing the following day, until further notice!
I was reminded that there are times when things don’t go as we have expected or planned, but we get to choose how we will deal with it. Here is what we learned:
Don’t shoot the messenger!
(In this case, we could have taken aim at the concierge, but it wasn’t her fault-she felt terrible!)
2. Find reasons to be thankful!
(While we were disappointed we were thankful she told us BEFORE we had gotten all dressed and ready to go to the Theatre. Instead, we found some steaks and a salad kit at a local grocery store and grilled out!)
3. Don’t play the blame game - it just isn’t helpful.
(Most people don’t roll out of bed everyday thinking of ways to upset us. The performers and theatre owners didn’t plan for this to happen, they were simply falling in line with the governor’s guidelines and it had nothing to do with us personally.)
4. Look for the truth in the situation and let it guide your attitude and response!
(The truth is as with many other businesses, they probably have lost a lot of revenue. The main goal of our vacation was to have a break from work and spend some concentrated quality time together - and we got that!)
WE COULD HAVE responded to our unmet expectations by being angry!
WE COULD HAVE written letters of complaint to the city!
WE COULD HAVE done any number of things, but if it is one thing that I have learned is that it takes a TREMENDOUS amount of energy to stay mad at situations or people that we cannot control!
Something to think about:
*Think of a time when what you expected got shattered and blown away leaving you angry or offended, and remember how you handled it.
*Whatever your response was, know that there will ALWAYS be more opportunities to grow in this area! It might be helpful to learn the lessons from our former failures and see our progress from this point on!
*Write down one thing that you are going to do different and share your story with me by clicking here: firstname.lastname@example.org
REMEMBER when you are angry or offended because things didn’t go as expected:
-Don’t shoot the messenger - it’s not their fault!
-Find reasons to be thankful - it will help to diffuse the anger or resentment!
-Don’t blame anyone - look for helpful ways to solve the problem!
-Look for the truth and let that guide your response!