It Figures

You know what I am saying.

It could be when you pick what you thought was the shorter line at the supermarket, and the cashier has to call a manager for help for the person in front of you.  You watch the next line over go through two customers before the manager even gets to your register.  It figures.

Maybe you are driving somewhere for an appointment and seem to get every red light on the way there.  It figures.

You could get a telephone call and forget to take the chicken out of the oven, and it gets overcooked.  It figures.

Something happens that is not what you planned or wanted, and you say, “It figures.”

This is one of those expressions that annoys me.  Yes, it annoys me.  You may ask me why it annoys me.  I may ask you, “Why does it figure?”

Do things not go your way in life so consistently that you just figure that that is what is going to happen?

I would be surprised if you honestly answered, “Yes.”  If you did, though, and that much truly seems to go wrong in your life, then perhaps it is time to ask yourself a question.  Are things really going that wrong, or is it time for you to make a change?

Is it your outlook that needs to change?  Do you see the negative in most situations?  Why do you think that is?  Seriously.  Pause and ask yourself why your first instinct would be to see the negative.

Are you back?  First let me send you a virtual hug because you may need one.


Let us imagine that you did get stuck in a line that took longer in the supermarket.  You did not have to be anywhere else when you were finished shopping, anyway.  You were going to go home, put up your feet, and read a book.  Thus, rather than looking at the few extra minutes that you had to wait as the event that ruins your day, why not look at it as the few minutes that someone else was able to get some help?  Did it really cost you anything?

Is  it your attitude that needs to change?  Do you see the worst in situations because you have a woe is me attitude?

Dinner was a little overcooked.  It happens once in a while.  Is it really that big of a deal?  If the chicken is a little dry, maybe you can add some gravy to it.  Chances are that your side dishes are still going to be delicious!

Is it where you put your focus that needs to change?

You are on your way somewhere.  You are scheduled to be there at a certain time, and you get red lights as you are driving.  The red lights do not make you late, though, so why were you so focused on them?  What was the problem?  Why would you say, “It figures?”

Is it not that IT figures but that you figure?  If you already figure that the worst is going to happen, then why bother in the first place.  Maybe it is because you do not truly expect the worst.  As a matter of fact, you hope for the best.  If you hope for the best, then why not make it a point to see the best?  

Please let me encourage you to, each time that you feel like it figures, stop yourself.  Say to yourself, “This seems inconvenient, yet is it really such a concern?”  Then look for something positive in the same situation.  Can you do that?  Will you do that?  The more that you practice looking for the positives, the more natural seeing the positives may come to you.  Maybe you will even get to a point where you say, “Wow, that was such a good experience  It figures.” 😁

To help you check your own perspective, watch this boy’s inspirational video.

Comment below if you are willing to share a situation when you had a negative feeling but then could later see the good in it.  I would love to read about how you turned your frown upside down!

17 Replies to “It Figures”

  1. To be honest, in thinking back through recent “negative” experiences, I couldn’t think of any that turned out to be positive in some way, as in being able to later see that my temporary inconvenience or discomfort was for the best. But, I also couldn’t think of any “negative” experiences that ended up causing me any lasting harm or difficulty. When I got stuck in traffic and was late for my yoga class, it didn’t really matter. Nobody cared, and I still got a great workout. When the food I cooked didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped, it still provided sustenance and by the next day it was forgotten. In light of that, it’s easy to see there’s really no benefit to getting upset in those situations. It doesn’t help change the circumstances, and it’s not worth the mental (and physical!) energy it takes. Thanks for the reminder to relax and stay positive; it’s something I have been working on! “God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

  2. I love the way you suggest to change you r own view, not complain about the world. My daughter just proved this point right now. A commentor on tv said, “I hope you’re having a nice day.” She said, “No. Its too hot.” I reminded her that we are in a cool, air-conditioned house with not much to do today so we can relax. I’d call that a nice day. She didn’t have a come back to that. 🙂

  3. Such a good post. I AM one of those people that says “it figures.” I’m also one of those that says “with my luck….” and you’re right. It’s a mental thing that I have to adjust. Bc it’s not that IT figures. It’s that “I” figure. Thank you for writing this. Helps me to want to change my way of thinking.

  4. I really like your bold writing style and making me reflect as a reader on my behaviour even though I had never actually heard the phrase “it figures” before. Morgan x

  5. This is something I try to convey to one of my coworkers all the time. Every time something bad or inconvenient happens, he has this “it figures” attitude. If you keep expecting everything to go wrong, it definitely will!

  6. I don’t think we all say it figures as in, negative is happening to us. I say it as in, the one time I do jump lines, the line I moved to goes slower than the one I was in. Or the one time, I am late I catch all of the red lights. It figures, as in the one time I kinda needed the green lights I got the red. Now I am rushed, and stressed, and possible late for an appointment. I think my “it figures” really means “of course it happened today, and not tomorrow when I have more time to enjoy the slower drive”.

  7. My dad was an “it figures” kind of guy but I try to stay positive and keep things in perspective. Sure there are bad days and negative experiences but I hope to learn from them and move on!😊

  8. Amazing! This makes me really question and think about my negative outlook. I try to be positive most of the time, but sometimes I allow the smallest things to change my attitude. I love the simplicity of this post. The presentation and message were just what I needed.

  9. My recent trial in life was a really big negative one that sent me to the deep abbys of depression for a year. I lost the life that I had built for 16 yrs and had to move to the other side of the world and started over from scratch. It was hard to see the silver linings as I was going through it. But, I did heal. As I am rebuilding my life, I can see how this can be a chance to build a happier, more meaningful life. That shift in perspective is really key. And sometimes, you just need to let the universe does it’s magic — that there is a purpose for evertything that we go through.

  10. It is a mental attitude. There are some days I look at inconveniences as annoying, and some days it is just some extra time to pray, pray for my family and friends or the people around me. I recently caught myself thinking negatively, and I said to myself what is so wrong. God blessed me with another day, another breath, another moment to serve. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness and reminder to Take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ …

  11. We are struggling with a glass half empty child and it is so difficult to change. What I can change is my reaction to the negativity so i am starting there. I need to stop letting it get to my core and linger.

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