by Tom Kelly, M.S.
Summer in New York City can be excruciatingly hot, with a combination of heat and humidity that can stop you in your tracks. Luckily, I am able to come home and turn on an air conditioner to full blast. After a few minutes, my bedroom is cooled off and I have successfully escaped the scorching heat. But this escape comes with a monthly price in the form of a steep electric bill.
In living with two roommates, we see our electric bill skyrocket over the course of the summer months. That is why I think it is smart that we be careful about our electric usage. Saving money and being environmentally friendly seem like good ideas all people should have. However, I have found that my roommates do not always act in ways that support these ideas, and I find this infuriating!
Most mornings when I wake up, I am greeted by bright lights in our living room, kitchen and dining room. Immediately I think, “do they not recall our bill? This is such a waste! They should not be acting so stupidly!” But, it is these demanding beliefs that are causing me to become infuriated, not my roommates.
When I think in this demanding manner, I become angry and distant, and do my best to avoid any interactions with what I have deemed to be inconsiderate roommates. This interferes with my goal! When I am angry and distant, I don’t ask my roommates to please shut off the lights. Going forward, I am going to work on shutting off some of my demanding beliefs.