I want you to picture these three situations:

You’re at a red light and a man pulls up and gives you the finger because he thinks you cut him up at the roundabout back there.

Road rage

You apply for a promotion at work and think you deserve to get it but you get passed over by the boss for someone you don’t like.


A good friend can’t make your party because she’s ill, but you later discover that she went to another party instead.


Now how do you react?

Typical reactions might be:

You wind your window down and give him both barrels even though the kids are in the car.

You seethe with resentment and become passive aggressive at work undermining your newly promoted collegue by not giving the moral or technical support they need.

You cut your friend off refusing to return her calls, emails or Facebook messages and bad mouthing her behind her back.

All 3 of these responses are understandable to a degree.

And here’s why.

The territorial instinct we have inherited from our caveman ansestors doesn’t just cover physical boarders such as countries, homes and personal space, it also comes into play when our psychological boarders are breached.

Studies have shown that the parts of our brains that light up when we feel physical pain also light up in the same way when we feel mental pain.

Like when we’re excluded from a group or get dumped by a partner


So in a real way, getting the elbow metaphorically can hurt just as much as literally.

But one of the main advantages of the human brain is its adaptability.

The ability to use logic to overcome the emotional shots that hit below the belt.

So consider this:
If you could choose, coolly calmly and collectedly your response to the three scenarios would you go for the ones above or go for something different?

Instead of shouting and screaming at the driver and then screeching off in a cloud of tyre rubber how about instead look at him, smile and look away. And as lights turn green pull away slowly as if you haven’t even noticed?

Would you compromise your own performance and that of your team at work, or instead knuckle down show the boss you can take it on the chin and think eff it better luck next time?

Would you if you really cut your friend off?

Or perhaps give here the benefit of the doubt, there might have been a bloke at the other party she’d been trying to hook up with for ages and she didn’t want to upset you by turning the invitation down.

Now here’s the real thing.

You do have that option, you ALLWAYS have that option, that decision is yours
Think about it who else does?
The guy in the car?
The stupid boss at work?
You friend?


Are you really going to let these others have the keys to your feelings?
Allow them to let themselves in, sit down, put the tv on and raid the fridge whenever they feel like it?


Or are you going to double lock the front door.


EVERY time you do one of the following:

Bear a grudge


Harbour resentment


Feel sorry for yourself


Take offence



Take something to heart

Blame others for making you feel bad


You're doing just that.

Not only that but by letting people get under your skin you’re putting yourself at risk of losing friends, deals and all sorts of amazing opportunities .

You’re allowing others to direct the film of your life

All you have to do is not take it personally.

Next time just shout “CUT”

It’s actually easier done than said