Speak to the Snoot
I think you are a friendly, kind, understanding person. You see me as cheerful, patient and personable.
We have all seen the message many times on Facebook and elsewhere: "Be kind because everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about."
We all agree wholeheartedly! Until...
The jerk cuts me off in traffic. Or the customer service lady treats me as cold as ice.
Let us be honest now, we react. Even if we try not to show it outwardly (and most of us do), we immediately react defensively in our minds. Certainly it's not only me!
I really enjoy having a Starbuck's near my home. There is a strikingly lovely young woman who has worked there for a couple of years. But she was noticeably unfriendly to her customers.
She was polite and efficient, but rarely looked at me in the eyes. I don't think I'd ever seen her smile. I'd observed that same attitude when she served my daughter and others.
We have a good friend who had formerly worked at that Starbuck's with Snooty Girl. She remembered that the young woman was stand-offish with her co-workers too.
Recently, the beautiful barista waited on me again. I hadn't seen her in a few months. My first thought was "Oh, she looks sad or annoyed as usual." But I also noticed that her hair was different.
I ordered my java. While she was making it, I said "I like your new hair color! When did you have it done? I haven't seen you in a while."
Gloomy Gal suddenly lit up like I'd never seen before! "Thanks. I need to get it redone already." She was looking at me in the eyes and smiling. I made a couple more comments about wanting to try highlights like hers. She readily responded. We had a very pleasant conversation.
It's a known fact that most people like it when others take an interest in them. And people enjoy talking about themselves.
Frankly, when I saw Gloomy Gal being her straight-faced self AGAIN that day, I thought "Maybe being a barista isn't right for her. We customers like friendly people to wait on us."
But when I took a chance by talking to her, she showed me a side of her that I'd never seen. It was kind of amazing to witness the change!
I challenge us not to respond in-kind to Mr. or Ms. Cranky Pants. Maybe they really are fighting a hard battle we know nothing about!
I am currently in a battle you know nothing about. You are fighting one too, aren't you?
We all cope in different ways.
I am not saying that we should always excuse bad behavior in others. I am just saying to give that person a chance or two.
Speak to the snoot. Smile and see what happens.