The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:
I’m a woman in my 40s. Recently, I’ve had a succession of unpleasant experiences, and I can’t stop wondering why these things always happen to me.
One day, when I was eating a meal at an udon restaurant, a dish fragment, which happened to be mixed in with my meal, touched my teeth. I had almost swallowed the fragment.
On a separate occasion, when I ordered a pizza at an Italian restaurant, I waited for as long as 90 minutes because the waiter forgot my order.
Once when I felt sick and was lying down in a departure lobby of an airport, an unfamiliar middle-aged woman made a sarcastic remark about me. When I passed someone on a street, they said, “Speed up!, idiot!” and I was hurt by the words.
I can’t get to sleep at night because such terrible things often come to mind one after another. I also have tough memories from the past and sometimes happen to recall them.
I’m trying to forget these things, but I can’t stop thinking about them. Could you please give me advice?
Dear Ms. K:
As you seem to be always experiencing trouble, I think it cannot be helped if you come to dislike other people. But at the same time, I think such kinds of misfortune could happen to anybody at any time.
Under such circumstances, I recommend that you change your way of thinking a little bit.
For example, you should replace “the misfortune of almost swallowing a dish fragment” with “feeling fortunate that you managed to escape swallowing it,” and enjoy your luck.
About your waiting 90 minutes for a pizza, you could appreciate your wealth of patience as you were able to contain yourself.
For the incidents in which you were insulted in an airport lobby or verbally abused on a street, you should think, “People who say such things one-sidedly are much worse off than I, so I don’t need to feel hurt.”
Of course, even if you change your way of thinking in a positive way that makes you feel at ease, it doesn’t mean that everything is fine. But it might be better than being left in a depressed state of mind after hearing such one-sided comments.