The world can be ugly, but that doesn't mean you have to be. It's no surprise we come across people on a regular that can be downright ugly. They could be having a bad day or they could be in a bad mood and sometimes they're just looking for people to take it out on. Our first response could be to respond in ugliness or to give them a dose of their own medicine. That's what honestly can feel natural to us. We want to show them how it feels.
What if we measured our response and took a little compassion or empathy? What if we didn't realize this person just lost their job, got dumped by their partner, had a car accident, or worse lost someone they loved?
Our nasty response could send someone spiraling and make their day turn out worse then it started.
I recently started driving Uber for extra income and I've literally come across so many types of people. The worst part is that they can rate you and you can rate them. Sort of like a Yelp for ride share service and people. I observe everyone who steps into my vehicle and I try to measure their moods as well as my own. I don't want to overshare, play my music too loudly, have the A/C too low, or miss a turn, but everyone is different. When I read my ratings, I notice that some people are not completely happy with their experience and I have no way to identify with that if they don't voice it.
There are those people who get into my car and they are holding their end of the conversation. When there's good conversation it always makes the ride go faster but not everyone is in a chatty mood. Some people want to rest or wear their headphones. Some people don't even make eye contact.
I have tried not to take this personal. Especially when I show up to pick someone up and they don't seem like they're in the best of mood. It's happened a few times. I've had some very rude people get into my car. I've had people be short and condescending. Since I am providing a service, I have to be mindful of this fine line of providing service while not allowing myself to be fully taken advantage of in the process. It's not always easy!
One way to look at it is that you are working customer service. The customer is "always right" even when quite honestly the customer should be fired! If you feel someone having a difference of opinion with you no matter how difficult it is, try to apologize. It's not considered a weakness if you're trying to dismantle a situation and an apology will certainly do that. Lastly, remember that you will probably never see this person again. However, if things do escalate and get beyond your control, it's possible that you could get a blemish on your record with a bad rating. In either case, try your best to avoid a negative situation at all cost.
It's never fun to be on the receiving end of these bad scenarios. One negative person could ruin your whole day. Try to remember this is just one person in a Universe of people. This is not the world coming against you. This is someone who is clearly having a bad moment. Unfortunately, if you've never met them, this bad moment could make a bad impression but don't allow that to taint your image on everyone you come across or every interaction you have.
It's important to try to shake it off when these things happen. Don't let these situations mess up the rest of your day. Our time is so limited and we shouldn't allow other people's moods intercept our energy and our feelings. People are people and we all have our days. All you can do is be your best everyday. Be kind, be empathetic, sympathize, be encouraging, and as hard as it can be, TRY your best to understand where someone is coming from. It will make all the difference in your world and theirs. It will help you avoid conflict and a negative experience.
Remember to preserve your energy and spirit. Don't let anything or anyone weigh on your day. It's not easy but stay on middle ground. Be mindful that someone could just be having a bad day and that someone doesn't have to be you.