Crap happens. More than likely you have experienced one, or more, of the following scenarios.
You are at a store, you prepare to check out, but the cashier is super unfriendly. No smile. No greeting. Very little eye contact.
Awkward. You check the sign, was the line closed or something?
You are attempting to get information from a person at a help desk, only the person that is supposed to be "helping" you is responding in a tone that is decidedly unhelpful. Rude, almost.
Embarrassed. You suddenly feel like a dumb a**, was the answer to your question that obvious?
You get a new job and a coworker, instead of welcoming you to the team, is giving off the body language and facial expressions that you are definitely "not" welcome. As in, go back where you came from.
Uncomfortable. You wonder, did I make a big mistake?
These type of situations happen more often than they should. Unfortunately, we can't do much to prevent them. But what we can do, is exert a little control over what happens next, and how it affects us.
Do we let the crap or crappy attitude of a random person upset us, ruin our mood and our experience?
I used to.
I'd make things worse by being "less than friendly" back, you might even say I got downright bit**y. It might have made me feel better for a minute or two, but it no doubt in the end made things worse.
As I grow wiser, I have begun to employ a new tactic to deal with this type of situation.
I now attempt to "kill" the unfriendly person with kindness.
Obviously, the person with the bad attitude is suffering from something. Maybe they don't feel well, maybe life situations have got them down, maybe they feel under appreciated, or maybe they just aren't happy in their line of work. (Remember Hermey the elf from Rudolph, who wanted to be a dentist and not a toymaker?).
Whatever the person's reason for being hateful, it won't be obvious to you. But the attitude will be hard to miss.The easiest and most common reaction is to be a jerk back at them. But how about trying a little kindness instead.
Yes, I am serious.
It throws them off balance.
They are probably used to others giving attitude back to them, so being nice, may actually throw them off balance. It might stop them in their tracks. It might make them think.
It takes the wind out of their sails.
They have come to expect that you will react badly to their attitude with some negative energy of your own, allowing them to control the situation. If you do not acknowledge their bad attitude, instead, transmitting friendly, positive, and understanding energy at them, you may take the wind out of their sails, and take away their control.
Think about it, how can they continue to be rude when you are being so nice?
It gives you back the control.
So, the next time it happens to you, try a new approach. Try being kind. It may not, in the end, help the other person's situation, but I guarantee that you will feel a whole lot better, by taking the high road.
People shouldn't have rotten attitudes. But they do. Don't let their bad mojo ruin your day.
Maybe a little kindness from you is all they need to turn that frown around.
What is your reaction when faced with someone who is "less than friendly"?