I tell people on a regular basis that if they walk outside while it’s raining, stop cursing God for getting wet.
If you know what will happen next and don’t deal with it, won’t prepare for it, refuse to face it; you will get wet. Either take your umbrella, or deal with the cold walk to your car.
Screaming at the sky makes you look psychotic and keeps you uncomfortable for a longer period of time.
In real life the umbrella principle is about what we know to be inevitable from multiple past experiences.
If I get asked about my weight, my career plans and whether or not I’m aware of the ticking time bomb that is my biological clock, and I get asked that EVERY time I see my in-laws; hoping they suddenly get empathy, manners or common sense will not help.
Snarling at my husband will not help.
I need an umbrella.
In this case, a plan of action for when the questions come my way. It can be anything from smile like I’ve suddenly gone deaf, to get up and leave the house. There are a multitude of responses possible and what counts is my willingness to stop being a victim of the rain.
Where do you need an umbrella?
Even if the expected events are really bad, you really know they’re coming. Not planning for them equals wanting to have a bad day. Hoping other people change in the meantime is just wishful thinking.
Think about a repetitively bad experience and then outline what happens. Write it down! Walk away from the writing for at least a day and then come back and read it again. You’ll usually find that the space has allowed you to think of several new ways to deal with the problem.
I don’t care how wild or crazy those ideas sound, write them down. Now get someone you trust to go over your problem and your ideas so far. If you truly have no one in person, well you’re reading this on the web. You can find web friends, you can look for other people who have the same issues, you can post on this site!
Get some feedback and use it to make a solid plan, your umbrella, for the rain you know is coming.