The situation wasn't different for each person - ONLY THEIR CHOSEN RESPONSE was different. Whether they took the time to choose their response at that moment, or they had already previously given up their responses to habit, tradition, work/family/social values, or media programming -- their emotional response is still a choice.
What is an 'emotional response'? it is the feelings and actions that are created by choosing the meaning of an event. In other words - something happens, we decide if it is good or bad, then we feel happy or sad, and act on those feelings. So, what it comes down to, is that we DECIDE what everything in life means, and we DECIDE how we should feel about it, and we DECIDE how to Act in response.
Example: on the job, FACT #1: the boss comes up to you every day and tells you how badly you are doing.
Possible Emotional Responses: boss hates me, I am getting fired, they are all out to get me, they are racist, they are playing favoritism, I'll show them and get revenge, I'll quit before they can fire me!!!
Other Possible Emotional Responses: I must be doing something right - because the management is paying such close attention to me! I have a job that is very important to management and if I do this right I can get promoted. the boss must be going thru a tough time right now and just venting on me - I will pray for him! the boss and I are not communicating very well - let me see what I can do better to get us both on the same team/same page. I will thank the boss for giving me pointers on how to better do my job to help the company.
Notice how DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT these Emotional Responses are. The first set leads to bad feelings, bitterness and being unemployed. the second set leads to motivation, good feelings, skill development, promotion, and great work experience.
Now lets look at FACT #2 that was previously ignored. I still have my job. Meaning, that no matter what mood the boss is in today, I am still coming back tomorrow and getting paid for it! So If I LEARN to Control my Emotional Responses, I can stay employed, continue to get paid, continue to pay bills, and continue to stay happy!!!
Take a Look at the situations in your life that you are not happy about. Take a Look at the Meanings you have decided for those events. Consider what a difference it would make if you DECIDE to change some of the meanings to a more positive viewpoint.