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Dealing with Depression/upset over a small matter


i was at a fast food restaurant waiting for my order. when i finally got it i started heading back to my chair, along the way i saw a young lady carrying a tray. she was heading closer and closer in my path way. she wouldn't move out the way. we approached one another and ended up brushing each other. i was upset with her because she was much younger than myself,and she wasn't polite enough to give me more room. this may sound silly, but i was also disappointed that she didn't find me intimidating in any way. i'm a fair sized guy with a long beard. so, my pride was also hurt a bit.   i've been a bit down about this all day. i would like some feedback on how to get over this situation and move on. thanks for your time.

Hi Greg,

Sometimes we can get upset over a small matter and not even no why -  yet you want to forget it but keep dwelling on it.

We don't know what the other person was thinking.  All we can do is give someone the benefit of a doubt such as: Maybe she thought that since you were a man, that a man is polite and steps aside for the woman  - that chivalry still exists. That is possible and it does not matter how big or how old you are, but what matters is that you are a man and she may have "expected" you to step aside.  Or maybe she did not even care and just kept walking.  Or she could have been thinking the same thing you were - that you were not "polite enough to give (her) more room."   

Were your expectations such that you expected her to move out of the way?

You can go on and on and on about this, but don't waist your mental energy.

Something is bugging you. So, ask yourself if you set expectations and when people do not meet them,
you become upset in some way.  

Try and analyze yourself. Sit down with paper and pen.  Write down: I felt intimidated by the young lady because-------------. Write 3 or 4 things. Then go back and look at your first item.  Other phrases you can use is:  I felt upset because-----------    

What else does it remind you of?  Write that out and then continue on with the second item, and see if a pattern forms such as a memory, or that you might set yourself up by setting expectations on other people (and that is common among many people).  If it is expectations, just teach yourself to "expect the unexpected" and it will save you a lot of mental energy and hurt feelings.

Hope these ideas help you in some way.

Dr. Pat  

Dealing with Depression

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Patricia A. Schafer, Ph.D.


I received my Ph.D. from Kent State,in Ohio in Counseling.I specialize in various forms of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and forms of addictions such as substance abuse,eating disorders and gambling. My licenses are: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor -Supervisor(LPCC-S) and Licensed Professional Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC) My experience includes counseling substance abusers, families of alcoholics/drug addictions, and codependency issues. I also specialize in social phobia; stress; anxieties; women`s issues; grief and adjustments to life changes. Some therapeutic techniques used are: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behaviorial Therapy)REBT (Rational Emotive), SFT (Solution Focused) and 12-Step, etc. If you live in the Cleveland area, you can contact me at my office for an appointment at: 440-349-4521. I accept insurance and EAP programs.


Twelve years experience as a professional clinical counselor; 30 years member of Al-Anon.


Experiences of prejudice among individuals in African American and Caucasian Interracial Marriages: A Q-methodological Study (Doctoral Dissertation - December 2008; Wilsnack and Beckman's book: Alcohol Problems in Women (1984). Alcohol use and marital violence: Female and Male Differences in reactions to alcohol(pages 260-279.

Ph.D. in Counseling - Kent State MS in Counseling - John Carroll University BS in Psychology - University of Pittsburgh

Awards and Honors
Previous president of NCOCA (North Central Ohio Counseling Association); previous president of Chi Sigma Iota. Two years VISTA volunteer on Navajo reservation in Inscription House and Shonto.

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