“I keep yelling at my children. What’s wrong with me?”
“I seem to fight with my partner all the time. What’s wrong with me?”
“I’m always so tired and cranky. What’s wrong with me?”
Sound like you? I bet I know exactly what’s wrong with you.
Every day people ask me these same questions. And every day I go through a checklist of everything they have going on in their lives that would be using up their self-regulation.
For most people it’s a lot – work full-time, mum’s sick in hospital or in a home, the kids are going mental, there’s too much to do and not enough money to go around.
What most people don’t realise is that all of these things take self-regulation, which we do not have enough of. It gets used up quite quickly throughout the day. Let me give you an example:
Imagine this day:
Morning time at the zoo – kids are dragging their feet or moaning about something – it takes self-regulation not to throttle them
Drive to work – crazy traffic and even crazier drivers – it takes self-regulation not to hurl abuse at them.
At work – demanding boss/customer/colleague – it takes self-regulation to keep the smile on your face.
And we’re only at 9.20am.
So you can see how easy it is to use up our precious self-regulation.
Of course you’re going to be snarky when you get home.
Of course that cranky comment from your equally self-regulation diminished partner is going to spark an argument.
Of course you’re going to be exhausted. It takes energy to self-regulate.
What most people do wrong in this situation is beat themselves up and wonder what’s wrong with them.
Personally I prefer this method:
Give yourself a break..
I mean literally. Take some time out before you get home.
Lower your expectations. Do not expect yourself to come home and be super mum/dad/partner. Give yourself some downtime. Do not be available to meet everyone’s whim as they demand it. Practice being good to you.
If you do this you refill your self-regulation tank. You have more patience for those around you and you will perform better in everything you do.
Try it and let me know how you go.