Although I can't control others' actions, I can try to control my reactions to them.
My challenge is not to react with anger or frustration -- which has neither an outlet nor a benefit -- when the acts of others fail to meet my expectations. These acts, in particular, seem to rile me up the most, and, when I see them, take the most effort for me to remain calm:
- Sitting on the steps in Penn Station, obstructing the banister for those who need it to walk down the stairs.
- Talking loudly on the phone in public places.
- Texting and walking, especially in narrow spaces where other pedestrians cannot pass.
- Standing directly in front of the Select Bus ticket machines, blocking others who want to buy tickets, especially when a bus is approaching.
- Failing to give up their seat for someone holding a child, a folded stroller, or a cane.
- Failing to hold the elevator for a neighbor a mere three paces behind.
- Failing to recognize how loud and disruptive giggling and incessant chatter can be when nearby colleagues are trying to work.
- Failing to greet the doorman or thank him for opening and holding the door.
- Placing a backpack, purse or packages on an empty seat on a crowded train.
- Standing in the doorway of a subway car when others are trying to enter or exit. (Get out and then back in, or move elsewhere in the car. Everyone will thank you.)
- Littering, especially cigarette butts.
- Conducting a group conversation in the middle of the sidewalk, especially at rush hour.