Have you ever stopped to really think about how you treat the people you love?
How you talk with them, your interactions on a daily basis, and the tone of your voice when you talk?
I had a gentle reminder of this during a recent interaction with a stranger.
Riding public transportation, I couldn’t get my WIFI to work. The gentleman across the aisle from me seemed to be on his phone, and I asked him if his WIFI was working. He didn’t hear me, but his wife did.
She nudged him, and asked him if his WIFI was working.
“I don’t know yet,” he said in an extremely grumpy voice, “I’m trying to figure it out.” He was openly annoyed about being bothered. His facial expression indicated he was clearly angry at being interrupted.
She glanced at me, and we smiled.
“I was actually the one who as asking,” I said, in a louder voice.
“Oh,” he said, “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you were the one who wanted to know. I’m trying to get it to work now, but I’m having trouble.” He smiled at me politely, and was just as nice as he could be.
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I couldn’t help calling him out on what had just happened.
“So, if your wife asks you, you’re grumpy. But, if a stranger asks you for help, you’re nice.”
I said this in as cute a manner as possible so he wouldn’t deck me.
He laughed, as did his wife, and several other people who were sitting around us.
“You’ve got his number,” his wife replied, “You know how things work around our house.”
Ouch. We all smiled and went on about our business. I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for the woman.
The encounter made me think about the way I treat my loved ones, how I’m treated, and my interactions with strangers.
Most of us are polite when it comes to talking to people we don’t know. We would never want a stranger to hear us use our “grumpy” voice or see our “negative side.” However, when it comes to talking to our loved ones, it’s easy to get a little agitated every now and then. Let’s face it, they know how to push our buttons.
I know I’m guilty of this, and so are some of my loved ones. We’re comfortable with one another, and know nothing is going to happen if we use a harsh tone. Usually, we don’t even realize it when our grumpy voice starts to come out.
This recent interaction made me take a moment to think about how I treat my friends and family.
Period. End of story.
The interactions you have with the people you love, your friends and family, are what truly matters. While I want to be as nice as possible to strangers, and everyone I come into contact with each day, the people I love absolutely deserve this as well.
I encourage you to pay attention to this. Be honest with yourself, as you travel through your day. Notice how you treat people and be willing to modify your behavior if you feel it’s necessary.
It will have a positive impact on your relationships and make you feel good.
Find meaning each day,