Your Waiter is Rude to You [STOP!] Before You’re Rude Back

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I haven’t written in over a year… how sad is that? I got engaged in August and married in April and what they say is true… there is never enough time to plan a wedding and it seems other things in life get put on the back burner.

Nonetheless, I recently read an excerpt of a new book I picked up that immediately made me take to my keyboard. I hope it impacts you as much as it has impacted me.

Kelly Williams Brown, in Adulting: How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, says “Step 121: It’s probably not about you. Let’s say you’ve been checking out at the grocery store, and the clerk is dismissive and short with you. Here are the possibilities:

  • They hate their low-paying job and the attendant bullshit.
  • They had an ugly fight with their significant other this morning and are stewing about that.
  • They’re developing strep throat.
  • They are a sour person generally.
  • They dislike you personally and are out to get you, even though they just set eyes on you and you’ve said nothing to them yet.

Now. Of those possibilities, which is the likeliest? But which one does your mind jump to?”

Now in thinking about this, it seems like common sense, right? As I was reading though, I felt like I was having an epiphany. Nothing ruins my day more than when my waiter is rude, my co-worker says something insensitive or someone just acts like a complete jerk.

It happens… they say the rude or mean thing and immediately my blood boils, my face gets red and 5 times out of 10, mmm maybe 8 times out of 10 (if it’s someone I’m close to) I word vomit. I say how I feel and there’s no taking it back, but what if I took just a second to think WHY they are acting that way?

When I think about times I’ve been rude or short with someone there’s usually another reason that’s fueling that attitude that is completely unrelated to the victim that has experienced my “wrath” (as my sister calls it!). Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep or a client at work was a total jerk… one way or another, it usually has absolutely nothing to do with them.

So why then, would I think my waiter, my co-worker or that random person on the street’s mean words and bad mood has to do with me? It’s very possible that my waiter is working a double, his feet hurt and he’s dealt with overly needy/rude customers all day. His rent is due and he knows no matter how much he works, it will never be enough to cover all the bills. His mom is sick and he doesn’t know how long she has left. He has a child and hasn’t seen him or his baby momma in a while and feels like a failure as a dad. Obviously I jump to the worst case scenario or I’ve possibly been watching too much Lifetime, but you get the gist.

So no… it has nothing to do with the fact that I came in and sat in a booth in his section. Despite not feeling like serving me, he is actually glad that I came in and sat down, because that means he gets paid and can put food on the table and gas in his car, but if life dealt me a crap hand, I wouldn’t be able to mask it so well either.

If I really sat back and thought about why someone was rude to me every time it happened, I truly think I would see the world a whole lot differently. My feelings would be less hurt, I wouldn’t add to his or her rough day by being rude back and in general, it would make for so many more meaningful, fulfilling, enjoyable relationships in our lives… which is all our souls are seeking anyway, right?

I’m going to give it a try. Promise me you will too?

C’est la vie,

Anna

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