One Little Word 2014

The other day I ran into the concept of One Little Word over at Whimsical Poppysmic. She was going to pick one word to follow her through the year~ a word to hold on to, a word to learn from, a word to own. Having read more about it here I've decided I'm going to join in and have my own little word.

Grace. It's something I've struggled with a bunch last year, and it's something I want to overcome this year. More specifically, I want to be more graceful when I talk to people.

Working in retail for any length of time can make you jaded, which is sad. While I'm not jaded, there are definitely times that it seems that way. When my mouth starts talking before my brain or my heart has had a moment to take things in.

Some instances I struggle with:
■ customers who don't understand our return policy
■ the customer just assumes that they're right and I'm wrong
■ they don't bother to listen to me, which creates problems later on

There are other instances that are more complicated and sensitive than those:
■ people who are socially inept
■ people who struggle with anxiety
■ people who are, in my opinion, willingly closed minded
■ people who won't help themselves
■ people who trap themselves in labels that they themselves or people they surround themselves by create

These are all things I deal with on a weekly, if not daily, basis and SHOULD be able to handle them with more grace than I am.

Maybe it's because I was raised to be a strong, independent, pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps, tape-it-and-go sort of person that I do not fundamentally understand people who are different. I want to understand them though. I want to empathize with these people and see where they are coming from. I want to be able to talk to them and for them to see respect, trust, and genuineness in me. Whether it's over a transaction or a fun chit chat, I want people to leave their conversation with me a happier, more positive person than before.

Maybe that's arrogant or me to say? Or of me to want? I just really want to leave this world a better place, and I feel that in my situation as a store owner, I can do that by my daily interactions with people. But I cannot do that if I let my mouth run off without my head and heart.

That's why I will do my best every day of 2014 to be mindful of the word grace. To keep it close to my heart and see if I can stubble and fall a lot less than I did last year.

Do you have any advice for me on how to live with grace more each day? Are there any tricks or tips you have that keep your mouth from running off when you don't mean to? I'd really appreciate any thoughts from others in Blogland! ♥
Sylvia said...

This might sound silly but I find that intentionally being overly positive helps. For example when you have an annoying, stressed out customer and you are about to reply in an annoyed, stressed out way, lean back for a second and think what might have happened in that persons life to make them behave that way. Maybe they have just come out of a difficult relationship? Maybe they are chronically in pain and today it is just all getting too much? Maybe their children just threw a huge fit, dinner is basically on fire in the kitchen and they are stressed out? When you reply to them, keep the explanation you have just come up with in mind. I find it so much easier to be graceful if I think the other person is going through a difficult situation at the moment, as opposed to just being a dickhead. It doesn't really matter if it is at all true, for me the explanations just need to be vaguely plausible.

All the best, Sylvia

Knitted Fox said...

Sylvia~ that's a good way of looking at it, and one I hadn't really thought of before. It *doesn't* matter if the reasons are true, but using that as a place to go from I think will really help me. Thank you for sharing with me! *^_^*

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