I successfully conditioned myself with a rubber band last week.
Let me tell you, snapping your wrist is an effective way to break a bad habit. For as long as I can remember, I've been a jaw clencher. It's mostly a stress-induced issue. If that weren't bad enough, in recent years, I've developed a jaw-cracking tic. It's bad. It sounds gross, it's painful, and I'm sure it's all levels of bad for me to be doing. Enter the rubber band. Every time I cracked my jaw, I got an immediate wrist snap. The first day, the multitude of welts were so deeply red, they almost looked like cuts. The second day, I had some visible lines, but nothing that would cause anyone to direct me to a suicide counselor. By day three, the habit was kicked.
I'm now going to use this particular brand of torture to beat a bad trait out of me, which may be slightly more difficult than making a bad habit disappear.
I am a bitch. Them's just the facts. Most folks who incur my wrath deserve it. They bring it on themselves and have to deal with the consequences of, well, me being in a bad mood.
There's one exception.
The people I work with get all bitch all the time. And that's not fair. At the risk of sounding like an ingrate, I despise my job. I'm not sure that's accurate...I despise my day at work. I enjoy all aspects of my actual work, but when you throw in the babysitting, editing, and interrupting that I deal with on a half-hourly basis, frustration starts setting in. Frustration leads to anger and anger leads to hopelessness. That's when the bad starts, really. Not when I'm mad, but when I've given up. The Land of No Hope is where I live. The Land of No Hope is where I become Mean Dawn.
Mean For No Reason Dawn.
"Is this paper for us?"
"Uh, yeah! That's why I put it there!"
The people I work with are, on the whole, not very good at their jobs, due to lack of caring, ignorance, or laziness. But that shouldn't mean they have to pay for it by dealing with me. When they do their jobs poorly, and I'm left correcting their mistakes, they're not sending a message to me. This is not an I hate you, Dawn thing. Yet when I talk to people the way I tend to, I'm personally attacking. I'm mad and I think someone should pay.
I need to quit it. No one should have to deal with my attitude. Which brings us back to the rubber band.
Let's see how conditioning goes when we're trying not to break a habit, but to break an split-second response to years of irritation.
Wish me luck.