What Happens When You Don’t Get Your Way?

tantrumEvery once in a while I run into the closet stomp-my-foot-throw-a-fit-because-it-isn’t-going-my-way person.


You know the type: they are all sunshine and rainbows as long as things go their way, follow their expectations and little effort is needed in order for things to run smoothly.


But the moment dynamics change, a policy is updated or someone doesn’t agree *BAM* out comes the closet foot stomper.


It is a horrible rendition of Jekyll and Hyde and almost like an interstate car crash – you really don’t want to watch yet you can’t seem to keep your eyes averted.


In a way it is amusing – unless of course you are the target for outburst.  Then it is just an irritation at least and smack in the face at best.


Sometimes it takes only a short period of time for their nature to be revealed; other times it can take months – years even.  But when it does it really throws you for a loop.  You never look at them the same.  You loose respect and they loose credibility.


For anyone shaking their head saying, “oh yeah, I know that guy/girl” let me say this – are you sure it isn’t you?


Remember, they are good at hiding these things.  Have you ever behaved in this way?  Has there ever been a case that you were so frustrated that things weren’t going your way that you did a little foot stomping yourself?


Hate having that shoe on the other foot, huh?


I have stomped my foot in times past, I will admit.  I like to think that I did it in a mature and professional way; but let’s be honest – starting out in the professional world it is rare that you got it all together.


What I have learned is to manage the foot stomping.  Because the thing that happens when your are raising and lowering that foot is that words are coming out of your mouth that you just can’t take back.


I’ve heard the three things you cannot take back are the words you say, the actions you made and the moment before now.


I make my living with words.  I know their power.  For positive or negative they are extremely and amazingly powerful.  A kind word can transcend someone from the depths of hell to having a glimmer of hope.  A negative word can strip a man of his dignity, respect and value and leave him feeling as though he is alone in the world.  Powerful stuff.


So the next time you might feel the inclination for a little foot stomping I would suggest you do two things:


1.  Take a breath and take a moment to think about what is about to come out of your mouth.  Is it going to be damaging to someone else?  Is it worth it?


2.  Take another breath and remember – it’s not all about you.  Like it or not, unbelievably so – the world is not all about you.  Other people are involved and their value and worth is just as much as yours so get over yourself cupcake.


Of course if you are not able to control the foot stomping or this blog came a day late and a dollar short here is something you can do: apologize.


Go back to the audience individually and sincerely and honestly apologize.  Admit that you were an ass and behaved as a bratty three year old who was in dire need of a nap.


Apologize for your selfishness and any harshness to your words.  Ask for forgiveness and then offer assistance on how to make it right and move forward.


The more you keep stomping your little foot the more two things are going to happen: you might ruin perfectly good pairs of shoes and your audience will decrease dramatically.  And as any bratty three year old in dire need of a nap knows: foot stomping is not effective if there is no one there to see it.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



Leave a Reply