Moment Of Clarity

Black Friday Moment

Credit: Shutterstock

We understand.  Sometimes, problems with romantic relationships,  friendships, career or family life get you down. And we want to help. That’s why JET is working with therapist, Jinnie Cristerna, who will take your questions and offer some sage, sanity-restoring advice and insight every Tuesday.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt.

As the Black Friday weekend closed, I ask you: How many people did you trample to save $10? For those of you who were proud to “throw bows” in order to get what you wanted, do you understand the impact you made on others?

My Black Friday moment occurred when the family and I were at Orland Park Mall in the American Eagle store during their 50 percent-off sale, just looking around. We weren’t sure we would buy anything but what the heck? We found a couple of hoodies and waited in a wonderful line maze that stretched the length of the store. While I was in line, my daughter, Anese, passed an older woman in order to get to me in line and the woman said, “Uh … excuse you, boo-boo!” Now, my children are EXTREMELY well mannered and respectful, so I am sure Anese said “excuse me” as she tried to slink past the woman.

When Anese got to us, she was clearly upset about something; she was so angry that she was tearing up.  We kept asking her what was wrong, but she wouldn’t say. My son, Josh, then told her if someone had messed with her, he would kick their butts. Now for the record, I am the only one in my family who grew up in “the hood” (6758 S. Green in Chicago. Englewood to be exact) … so that would have been a lone altercation with the hopes that it would be, at most, a 2-on-1 fight. Besides, even though we are solid taekwondo enthusiasts and compete for fun, people in the real world don’t fight by the rules and I don’t condone violence.

Anese finally told us what happened and said that she was going to look for the lady to confront her. At that moment, I saw the entire movie unfold. Anese disrespecting an elder and an encounter ensuing. After all, this is my child and for an adult to behave in such a way toward a 12-year-old was infuriating.

However, I stopped myself and realized that while I like to fight, I now do so in the ring. The mall was not a ring and we were not here to entertain others. After I calmed down, cleared my mind, and thought about it from a clinical perspective, I turned to my daughter and asked, “Anese, do you know why that woman did what she did?” Anese said she didn’t know.

Then I told her, “Honey, sometimes people who don’t have a lot, whether it’s money, clothes, food, feelings of self-worth, etc., are starving for them so badly that when they have an opportunity to get it, they lose their composure. It’s like an explosion of excitement and contempt at the same time.

“They are excited that they have an opportunity to get what they want while at the same time, they get rid of the feelings of  being disrespected, disregarded, unworthy and ‘less-than’ that they felt during the time they didn’t have it. People get rid of feelings by sharing them with others and making them feel the same way. You don’t get mad or angry when people behave this way, you have compassion for them become thankful for your life. Let them have their moment because for many of them, they only get it once a year.”

Anese felt much better afterward and she went back to her happy self. The moral of the story is this: People make you feel how they feel. This is why it is so important to know what your issues and triggers are. When you do, you develop a stronger sense of self and can think more clearly during moments of intense negativity.

That is my plug for therapy. Now, go find a therapist. 🙂

Pleasant journeys …


Do you have a question for Jinnie? Email us at We’ll be sure to keep it anonymous and confidential. You can also learn more about our “Moment of Clarity” JET therapist via:

Her site at International High Achievers.

Twitter: @intlachievers

Facebook: Like Jinnie’s Page!

You can also subscribe to her High Achievers email list here!