In my line of work, it is not uncommon to come across hardworking, stressed people, rightfully so! The pressures of work or life’s worries are projected on unsuspecting clientele. These experiences have taught me just how much strength there in humility and purposeful silent. Yes, it means making a conscious decision to see beyond the aggression and tactfully work the situation to your advantage.
People want to be heard. I want to be heard. Furthermore, we live in a world where we are encouraged (for good reasons) to speak up and stand up for our rights. But, what do you do when you are the recipient of undeserved anger? I may not have all the answers, but, one thing for sure has worked for me. As one Mrs Obama put it, “When they go low, you go high”.
I have found solace in the learning to address the environment rather than the person. That includes acknowledging that the stress source may not always be arising from my end, but I have role to inspire some civility. Being quiet instead of “crying out loud” and allowing the ‘aggressor’ a bit of space. Surprisingly, I tend to get more apologies than I would when I attempt to aggravate the situation by insisting my on my rights and privileges – not to mention that those rights end up being upheld somewhat.
One case in point is walking into premises where the front desk staff appear very hostile and disinterested in public relations. Instead of reading the riot act, a compliment or two does the trick. It is not easy when you know the person in front of you has a mandate to serve you with a smile or is expected to have all the answers to some vague questions. A simple, “Wow, your hair looks nice”! After the aggression lifts, get down to business and leave before the person ‘remembers’ they are supposed to be sad.
Applied humility is a strength, rather than a weakness and usually makes all the difference.