If Facebook would have been here when my mom was living she wouldn’t have had friends, she would have had fans. She knew people from all arenas of life and could chat with a stranger like a longtime best friend. After a conversation with a new person, Mom knew three interesting facts about her just found friend. She thought everyone and their stories were fascinating. I’m quite sure she did her share of fascinating others too.
Nancy was one of my favorites in my mom’s inner circle of friends. She was 5 foot nothing and I’m sure didn’t weigh 100 pounds soaking wet. What she lacked in size she made up for in spunk.
One day Nancy, in her early 70’s, was stopped at a very busy intersection. She was first in a long line of traffic at a red light. The instant the light turned green the man in the car behind her hit the horn like a game show contestant. She glanced in her rear view mirror and saw how angry he looked. She put her car in park, got out in her high heels and walked back to his car. She motioned for him to roll down his window. In exasperation he did and she very politely asked, “Did you need me for something?”
“No lady, the light turned green,” he said rolling his eyes. “Ohhhh,” she said in her southern drawl. “I thought you needed something so I thought I’d better check. OK, if you don’t need anything, I’ll go back to my car. Have a good day,” she waved as she slowly walked back to her car.
By the time she closed her door, the light was red again.
Nancy made her point without raising her voice or stomping her feet. And many times we (especially women) can say something loudly without opening our mouths. So much of communication is tone of voice, facial expression and body language anyway. Instead of yelling, screaming and fit throwing, why don’t we get creative and tap in to our inventory of communication skills? It’s a lot more effective, so much more fun, and there’s really no need to yell unless the house is on fire.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”