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3 Ways to Get Over a Bad Attitude

3 Ways to Get Over a Bad Attitude

We went back to Kansas last week for Thanksgiving — which was wonderful! — but getting home ended up being quite the adventure!

We had been in Kansas all week, spending time hanging out with family and friends and it was such a good week. But by the end of the week, we were all kind of cranky (including me!)

Then we got to the airport and we discovered that our flight had been delayed by an hour. It was sort of icy outside, so I wasn’t surprised. We decided to make the most of it, and we colored and I taught the kids how to play one of my favorite games: Dutch Blitz.

The flight then got bumped to an even later time. So we sat and waited and waited some more.

And then finally, the flight got cancelled altogether. It was still early in the day, so I figured we’d be able to get on another flight.

3 Ways to Get Over a Bad Attitude

Jesse went back down through security to wait in line to talk to a gate agent and also called American on the phone at the same time. I stayed up at the gates to see if I could come up with any other Plan B for us.

We waited and waited and no flight options were opening up. We finally found a flight that was going to Dallas and they thought they’d be able to get all 5 of us on. But after waiting until everyone on that plane had boarded, they told us, “I’m sorry, this plane is full.”

So after hours at the airport, we were told that they soonest flight they’d be able to get us all on would be 8:55 p.m. on the following evening and the flight wouldn’t arrive back in Nashville until 2 a.m. in the morning!

In that moment, we had a choice. We could choose either to just to say, “This is terrible! I can’t believe this!”

Or, we could choose to say, “You know what? We did our best, we tried as hard as we could to get on a flight today and we couldn’t. This is out of our control. So let’s just make the most of this unexpected situation.”
3 Ways to Get Over a Bad Attitude

If you find yourself in a situation where you have a bad attitude or want to have a bad attitude, here are 3 things that helped us have a better attitude:

1. Prioritize Self-Care

I realized that the reason I had a bad attitude and was feeling cranky was that I was tired and needed sleep. In fact, we all needed to prioritize self-care.

We needed quiet. We needed down time. We needed time together with no pressing to-do’s.

My body was just craving quiet and rest. And so, that’s what we did. We got a hotel with some credit we had and we took 24 hours to just have quiet, rest, and sleep.

The kids ended up sleeping for 13 hours!! No wonder they were having crabby attitudes. Clearly, they were super tired!

In addition to sleeping, we watched a few movies, we played games, we read books, and we just hung out. It was so nice and it was exactly what we needed!

2. Find the Funny

When we figured out that we were going to be stuck for another 24 hours, we decided to just find the funny in the situation. This is what my friend Tam always says and I love it!

My kids said a couple of things that were so funny and we laughed and laughed about it. We also watched some YouTube clips and laughed over them together.

Instead of saying, “I’m so irritable and I’m so frustrated,” we looked for the funny. Because there’s funny all around you if you look for it.

Best of all, when you find something to laugh at it, share it with someone else. Because funny is more funny when you share it with someone else.

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3. Notice the Good

There are a lot of frustrating things that can happen at the airport. The delays can be frustrating, they can mess up your schedule and mess up your day.

But here’s the thing: most of the time the people who are working at the counter at the airport are not the people who are responsible for those delays. There are often things that are way outside of the control of the airline — like weather or mechanical malfunctions.

We decided that instead of being frustrated by the situation at the airport and taking our frustration out on the airline employees, we actually talked to as many gate agents as we could to tell them, “Thank you so much! This is such a hard situation and you guys are being so patient. You’re doing such a great job and we just really appreciate you helping all of these people and trying to get us on a flight.”

We went out of our way to say thank you because they were hearing from a lot of annoyed customers, but this situation was entirely out of their control.

3 Ways to Get Over a Bad Attitude

We chose to notice the good. To say thank you for their professionalism. To express gratitude to them for having such a great attitude in such a hard situation.

We also looked for the good in the situation as a whole: we didn’t need to get home on Saturday. We had credit to get a hotel. And we were able to have needed downtime as a family.

When we looked for the good, we started noticing blessings all around us! There’s always, always, always something to be thankful for.

How do you get over a bad attitude? What helps you? I’d love to hear!

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18 Comments

  • Beth says:

    1. Prioritizing self care is huge! We make a point to eat real meals (not vending machine or just snacks) during stressful situations if at all possible. If we’re in an airport we’ll take turns watching our son and “sleeping” on top of our carry-ons. Even just 15-20 minutes of relative quiet can help
    2. We find the interesting – in an airport we park near a window where our son can watch the planes. In a long car ride we’ll stop at the pet store or mall to walk around for a little bit.
    3. Definitely notice the good! Even just being nice can help everyone. We’ve gotten extra help from staff just because we’ve made the effort to treat them the same as us – people stuck in a difficult situation. Kind words and respect go a long way.

  • Jenny says:

    I was woken up an hour earlier than normal by a 4 year old who had climbed into my bed at 4am and shortly thereafter peed in my bed. My 6 year old forgot his homework so we had to walk all the way back home and get it. My 2 year old has a stomach bug. They won’t. stop. asking. me. questions. The fighting. won’t. stop.
    I came online in a grumpy, crabby mood and clicked on this page…. 3 ways to get over a bad attitude? EXACTLY what I needed to change my day around. THANK YOU. There is hope for our day after all! 🙂

  • Pat Fix says:

    There are so many things to turn my day around! I go to the fabric store and look at all the pretty colors, trip to library and get lost in a good book, a bubble bath is wonderful, go for a walk and connect with nature or just surprise someone –it doesn’t have to be much a joke, bake them cookies or (and this is my kids favorite) make up a story .

  • Ashley says:

    Totally agree on treating employees with respect (even if they are in the wrong!). Screaming and berating makes you look like a fool and accomplishes nothing productive. Treating people the way you wish to be treated is key. Sometimes it works in your favor, sometimes it doesn’t, but at the end of the day you still know that you treated people well and have nothing to be ashamed of.

  • Rhonda says:

    Having been in similar situations, I know for a fact that, instead of remembering the bad, this trip will go down as a wonderful memory.
    You had an adventure! Something off-schedule! You faced the unknown together. Attitude changes everything.

  • Listening to music or doing a few yoga poses are my tried and true ways of getting a better attitude! If I have an extra minute or two, I sniff some energizing essential oils and do a sun salutation pose or a peaceful warrior pose and that helps with my attitude tremendously!

  • Myriam says:

    It is so important to keep a good attitude in these situations (even if it’s hard sometimes!). Then you’ll keep a good memory of this moment! And it’s an excellent occasion to teach your kids how to react when something like that happens. Every moment in life is a teachable moment, isn’t it?

  • Jen says:

    Great post! In my family a sense of humor has done wonders. Our line is always, “Wow! This is going to make a great story.” Thanks for using your hard situation to do exactly that.

  • Stacy says:

    I love how you included prioritizing self care. It’s amazing what a difference that makes!

  • Such great points, especially the Self care! (and in your case, self-care for the kiddos!) You’re doing a good job, Crystal. Being a mom is hard work. Good for you for making it fun.

  • Katy says:

    As a wife of a career airline employee, THANK YOU so much for treating all customer service employees (airline or not) with respect. It truly does make an impact on their day and sometimes, their family’s day, when they finally get to come home.

  • Boy, I needed to read this this morning! Yesterday was one of those days where I just felt in the dumps for reasons that were clearly out of my control. I was honestly just in a miserable mood, and I knew I was! When I got to bed that night I started to think about how my mood may have affected our 2 year old daughter and immediately felt awful with myself!

    I have so much to be thankful and grateful for and I’ve made it one of my personal goals now to not let outside influences (or any for that matter!) ruin my day and make me crabby 🙂

  • Janice Schiff says:

    I know that my mood affects the family. My health keeps me home, and feeling like a prisoner. I have to channel good times and happy thoughts, even if they are from years ago. My adult sons have had it and I won’t do this with my grand-children. I want to be the funny Mom-Mom not crabby. Turn it around, and I will go online and read from friends and I love the photos and jokes.

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