At the moment many of my insights seem to be occurring on public transport, this time it’s on the buses. I was standing at the bus stop in Newcastle waiting for the No. 53, I’d been standing in the cold for quite a while. Eventually my bus came around the corner and I thought “Great a No. 53”. The woman in front of me muttered “Oh no, not another 53!”. I got on and took my seat and watched her as my bus pulled away, she was still muttering away, presumably about the iniquities of the public transport system. I spent a few minutes thinking about this incident, commenting to myself that moaning wasn’t going to make the bus come any quicker, and that she’d upset herself and get in a very sorry state if she carried on like that.
Then it dawned on me that I was grumbling about her grumbling! It’s an old idea that we see in others what we don’t like in ourselves. I’ve often noticed it in others, but it’s a bit humbling to come up against one of the less desireable traits in myself. The bus rolled on, uninterested in my a-ha moment, and so I pondered this new insight as we went along.
To emphasise the point a few stops later on, a man laden down with shopping bags got on the bus and got into a big palaver managing all the wayward handles of his bags whilst paying the driver. I found myself grumbling about this as well – “Come on, get a grip, what are you doing …. “. “Oh my God! I’m doing it again, am I really this cranky” I asked myself.
Since life had been kind enough to give me a hint, when I got home I took the opportunity to tap some of these issues away with these statements.
- I grumble
- I grumble about grumbling
- I am cranky
- I can’t stand dithering
- I can’t stand complaining (which is good coming from someone who seems to do quite a lot)
All these issues yielded to some good tapping, and it didn’t take long, EFT is nice that way. I don’t know if I’m cured of grumbling or crankiness, hopefully I’ll be more cheerful on the bus now.
By the way, applying a feeling to itself is a really good way of exaggerating it, for example grumbling about grumbling intensifies the uncomfortable feeling. This is quite a common pattern, usually with bad results, for example if you’re anxious about being anxious, that will make you much more anxious. It’s not all bad, you could always try the positive approach and experiment with being happy about feeling happy, or relaxed about feeling relaxed and notice what happens.