I spent much of last two weeks reclined in a chair at the Tribeca Dental Studio just a few blocks from my office (4 visits, actually–punishment for going too long without paying the dentist a visit).
Just like you, I hate going to the dentist. I’m careful not to say, “I hate the dentist” because she’s perfectly nice, actually.
That got me thinking about those times when patients tell me that they blew up, yelled at, dismissed, or otherwise weren’t so nice to someone because they’d had a bad day. Or because they were in physical pain. Or they had too much to do.
Because even the best experience at the dentist still makes for a bad day: the pain, the time, the waiting, the cost. You’ve been. You know.
But even at its worst, we can still choose not to indulge our irritability. We can decide we’re not going to be jerks, no matter how much pain we’re in.
Which is helpful to remember on a Tuesday night when the train got delayed and the dog won’t start barking and we dropped the groceries on our way out of the store.
We can say, “remember the dentist and how awful that was?” And we can remember how, in spite of the pain, we didn’t let the irritability win.