"You can catch more flies with sugar than with vinegar".
As I get older, I find the truth in this old adage. I grew up with a very hostile attitude toward many things: men, authority figures, vegetables and snowshoe crabs among them. The older I got, the more I realized that being rude and snappish wasn't me being sophisticated and intelligent; on the contrary, it just made my life harder than it already was. That period of my life came to a head when I worked at the record store. Daily I dealt with men who could not imagine that a female (especially a blonde female) could possibly know anything about records or music, let alone anything other than manicures or deceiving unsuspecting men out of their hard-earned dollars. The near constant sarcasm and arrogance directed at me made me sarcastic and arrogant. Not that I'm against sarcasm, but arrogance is more problematic. I went into my thirties wondering if I was always going to be this angry......then Mom died.
I know that all Mom wanted for me was to be happy. She had never seen me that way except as a very small child. My parents' divorce, my father's neglect and my sexual abuse by a family member changed all that. When Mom died, I made a promise to her and myself that I would be happy and have the good life that she wanted me to have. My attitude changed almost overnight and my life has been all the better for it. I became conscious that much of my unhappiness was due to negative people in my life; people around who I felt that I could not be myself or who required me to act a certain way. Not that I'm a screaming lunatic in public, but I do not place much stock in "putting on appearances". Why lie when you'll just have to remember what lies you told to whom? This meant that I would be cutting out negative influences from my life. Some people thrive on the unhappiness of others; they are energy "vampires" of a sort. This gives them entirely too much power over those who try to love them. I firmly believe that no one can make you a doormat unless you allow them to do that. I lost a job because the boss wanted me to be a doormat and I refused.
I've also found that being positive and cheerful has rewarded me, both spiritually and emotionally. It really is true that if you smile at someone, they'll usually smile back. If you don't send out attitude, you tend to get less attitude in return. It's so nice to go through a day not incensed over some offense done to me. It's easier to be nice than to try and appear "tough". I know I'm a tough old broad, I don't need to convince anyone else of that fact. They'll find out soon enough if they cross me.....Like I said, I'm a nice person, but that doesn't make me suitable for scraping your shoes on. As long as you don't try to do that, we'll get along fine.
I'm glad to be at a point in my life where I know who I am and who I am supposed to be. I demand a real reason to be upset now, instead of grinding my teeth about everything in my life.