Kill 'em with kindness
Sometimes it is really hard to be nice to certain people. Sometimes people just suck. But in these moments, it’s good to remember that reacting with kindness is always the best way…no matter how difficult it may be to do.
I had a situation over the weekend when I found myself being looked down on. It’s certainly not the first time but it really rubbed me the wrong way. I’ve mentioned that I have been helping out a friend of mine that has a business on LBI. She owns a linen company and since she is so shorthanded, I have offered to make up some of the beds she is contracted to do. I have worked for a cleaning company in the past and I am used to be people looking down on me as someone who has to do those type of tasks. It’s not nice.
Even some of employee of real estate offices have stuck their nose up when I came in to drop off a key. But what happened this weekend was having to deal with someone who clearly was looking down on me and let me know that she thought I needed to be put in my place. The owner had tried to call her several times that morning to see how I was going to get into the house to make up the beds. No answer. So, I drove by the address and saw a bunch of people in the driveway chatting. I pulled up and asked if they were the outgoing renters or the incoming renters. A woman comes over to me and says I am the owner and I’m talking to my tenants right now. I’ll be right with you. I told her I could come back when it was more convenient, but I needed to know if I would be able to get into the house since I didn’t have a key. She responded with….I will leave the door unlocked or you can just give me a few minutes. It wasn’t just what she was saying…it was the WAY she was saying it.
I went on my way to see if I could get into any of the other houses on my list and it turns out…nope. Everyone was staying up to the very last minute of check out time on this beautiful day. So, I went back to the woman’s house that said she only needed a few minutes. This time the car and people are gone from the driveway, so I make my way in with my laundry bags full of linens and towels. The owner was now inside cleaning for the next tenants. When she saw me, she said that she likes to freshen the mattress covers before I put the sheets on but she was in the middle of cleaning the bathroom now. I’m thinking to myself…okay, I guess you are saying you don’t want to stop to take the two seconds to scented lint roller over the mattress or you are angling for me to do it for you. I told her that I could leave my bags and come back later after my other houses if she wished. After some thought she said that she guessed she could do that now and I could follow behind her so I wouldn’t have to come back again. Umm, thank you? Somehow, she made it sound like she was doing me a favor. None of our interactions were really sitting well with me but I got to work making beds. As I get working in the first bedroom, I start stewing about the way she is talking to me. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know that I have a college degree. She doesn’t know that I have been on the radio for many years. She doesn’t know that I have been on some of the most prestigious news stations in the country. She doesn’t know that I am friends with the owner and am merely helping her out. Not that I’m above manual labor. I have done it in the past and am totally willing to do it again if I need to. And you know, it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t need to know any of that in order to treat me with a little respect. I don’t even need respect…just don’t treat me like I’m some menial worker that you are bothered by. As this is bugging me more and more, you know what I did? As I was crossing into the next room, I told her how much I loved her home. Yep, totally disarmed her. She was sweet as can be from that point on.
And my point is that even though I wanted to give her a little attitude back or at best just have no conversation with her at all I swallowed my pride and was the bigger person. There are certainly times when a different response is appropriate but not in the situation and I recognized that. Not only did it thaw her frosty attitude toward me it also deflated my annoyance at her treatment. And we both won. But only because I decided to be kind in response to her superior attitude. It was tough for me too. I’m not used to being the bigger person…lol. But it definitely worked in this situation.
So when someone is not treating you well, assess whether it’s a time to lash out or to kill ‘em with kindness. This usually works better in almost every situation. It’s tough to do but that is what makes you feel so good about yourself when you manage to pull it off.
It’s Monday! My favorite day after Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A new week with all kinds of possibilities. Now go make it your best day yet!
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