10 Things I Learned from a Delayed Flight & a Grumpy Lady

As most of you probably know, I moved to Austria from California a little over 2 years ago. And, I go home to visit my family 2x per year (one trip in summer and one at christmas time). So, as I am writing this I am actually on the plane to go back to the USA for a few weeks.

Let me just give you a bit of a background story. Our flight was scheduled to leave yesterday, but we had to turn around after 1.5 hours inflight because of a fuel leakage. We landed back in London Heathrow yesterday and were put up in a hotel for the evening only to resume the flight today at 9am.

Of course this was a huge inconvenience and getting to the hotel and back to the airport was a fiasco, but what could we do? Nothing. The plane had some problems and we had to land — there was nothing any of us could do. But there’s this family that’s on the flight: A husband, wife and 2 teenage kids (a boy and a girl). And honestly, the wife is one of the most negative people I have ever encountered in person. She’s been yelling at her kids, degrading her husband and just talking SO much about how annoying and inconvenient this is and just spreading negativity. Thank God for podcasts and good music. I had my headphones in on full blast to drown out her voice.

This just REALLY made me realize how toxic negativity can be and how I NEVER want to be like that lady. Now, I know that we all have our own story and our own lives and 1 million things could have happened to her in order for her to act this way. But all I know is that…ain’t nobody got time for that!

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So, instead of going along with her negativity and fueling the fire (as many other passengers did), I just decided to make a list of all the things that are positive in this situation.

  1. Safety first on an airplane: If the airplane has technical problems, there’s nothing we can do about it. Unless, of course, you happen to be an airplane technician… then maybe. I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to be on a safe airplane if I’m going to be flying 10 hours over the ocean.
  2. Complaining helps no one: If you cannot change it, stop complaining. Talking repeatedly about how inconvenient this situation is and how angry it makes you changes NOTHING!
  3. Everything happens for a reason: Now I know this might sound cliche, but it’s true. I have no idea WHY we had to get on this stupid malfunctioning airplane. But for some reason I was supposed to stay in London one more night before heading to San Francisco. Yes, I am sad because it’s 1 day less with my family, but I am not in control of that.
  4. Family is family for a reason: Don’t be rude to your family just because you’re frustrated. Be thankful that your family is with you on this flight and you’re not alone (like me!). Heck, be thankful that you have a family and the means to travel abroad with everyone. That can get really expensive and is not a luxury a lot of people have.
  5. I never want to be a grumpy wife: Gosh, I don’t even really think about marriage or anything like that ever. But if I ever do get married, I do know that I do not want to be a nagging wife. I want to be bright and cheerful and positive and bring my family up! I know it’s not possible all the time, but I would try my hardest and give 500% to be a strong and positive influence on my family, husband, kids, whatever…
  6. It’s not what you say it’s how you say it: My dad used to always tell me that and now I really know what he meant. Even when she would say “Do you want something to drink?” to her kids, it was always in a really loud, annoying, rude and condescending way. I always want people to feel like I respect them when I talk to them and feel like I am there to support their frustrations, not talk to them super rude! Especially if they are my kids.
  7. Negativity spreads like wildfire (but so does positivity): As soon as she would start talking about “if this” “what if that” “Omg, this” the other passengers would get in on it and the whole mood would go down. I felt bad because there was another family with 2 very small children that was trying to stay calm and keep their kids feeling good, and this lady just kept talking with them and poking more and more negativity towards them. I kept my guard up, there was so way she was breaking through to me. In fact, I almost said something to her on multiple occasions but then I just turned up my podcast and realized it wouldn’t do anything.
  8. Thank God for yoga: When we arrived at the hotel yesterday I immediately found a Yoga with Adriene video and did 40 minutes of yoga with her on YouTube. It was the best decision and, paired with a warm bath, helped me get to bed early and sleep well.
  9. Surround yourself with good people: Those are the 5 most important words that my dad always taught me. Not only do I want to surround myself with good people, but I want to be considered one of the good people that other’s want to be surrounded by. I don’t ever want to be that negative downer that people try to get away from.
  10. A smile can change everything: I just wanted this lady to take a moment and smile. But nope, she had a permanent frown. Every time I passed by her, I just smiled. I was hoping I could get a smile out of her so it could perhaps change her mindset for a second.

Well, the most important thing is that we make it safe to our destination! And, if you take anything away from the posting, know it’s always possible to stay positive to prevent the situation from escalating in your head.

Have you ever been in a frustrating and negative situation and learned something positive out of it? Share it with me on Twitter 🙂 I love getting Tweets from you guys.