Thursday, May 1, 2014

You Catch More Flies With Honey…

I don’t watch reality TV shows that focus on the “drama” of people “living their lives” because it’s just too painful for me to watch. My curiosity to see what all the fuss is about doesn’t get the better of me (anymore); I just refuse to watch them. There’s already enough depressing stuff in the world, and I know I’ll just get more depressed watching people snipe and fight and name-call each other for “entertainment.”

I doubt most people’s lives are like these reality TV shows (mine certainly isn’t), but every so often reality TV show moments seem to find their way into your life. I had two minor instances in the last few months that I wasn’t a part of, but happen to be at the periphery as things unfolded.

First, I was in a store’s dressing room (that was quite large and had a lot of stalls), and few stalls down I hear two women arguing (and really it was one woman going at another women). I’m not exactly sure what they were arguing about, but the angry one kept saying something about “defending her child” (although I’m not sure why she was defending her child). And I think the other woman apologized a few times but the angry one kept going. The part that stuck in my mind was when the angry one said, “I’m trying to talk to you like a human being,” because I think I rolled my eyes in exasperation. That’s a terrible thing to say to someone; it implies that somehow they aren’t quite human enough to comprehend what is being said to them.

I was very uncomfortable and wanted to get out of there sooner rather than later. By the time I finally left the dressing room stall, I saw a young woman crying and being taken to the side by an employee. I felt bad for her and the store’s employees. As I was leaving the store, I could see and hear the same angry woman talking to a store employee (possibly the manager)—and she was not happy. (I was pretty glad that I didn’t have to deal with her.)

The second incident was in the parking lot of a store. I heard a truck stop suddenly because a car was trying to reverse out from a parking space right in front of it. The man in the truck was pissed (as he was nearly in a car accident) and yelled at the car driver. I don’t remember all the mean things he said except for the “Go back to your own country” part, because I thought that was especially rude.

These two small confrontations don’t compete with the blowouts you see in reality TV shows, but they’re distasteful all the same. It’s perfectly natural that people get angry from time to time, but the way you handle a situation shouldn’t be so rude. The old adage, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar” comes to mind; you can get your point across without being so accusatory and mean-spirited. And likely people are more willing to listen and want to help you if you’re not beating them down verbally. Being firm, polite and clear-headed will likely help your cause more than snide remarks and derogatory language.

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