Working in retail has provided me with many interesting encounters with many different types of people. Most of the people I deal with are polite, well educated and well mannered. However, I’ve learned that people of all walks of life generally handle one thing the same way – not getting what they want. Last week I had a phone conversation with a customer. She wanted a discount on an order, but I warned her it might not be possible for various reasons (which I explained). She went through the roof! She loudly detailed her reasons why she deserved the discount, after which I explained (again) that I was only the person processing the order and had no authority to grant her request. That was followed by another period of anger and disgust. She was so annoyed with my “refusal to help her” that she demanded the name of my supervisor.
A few minutes later, I learned that that the discount would be available. I was not looking forward to talking with her again. As soon as she picked up, I immediately told her the good news. The difference in the tone of her voice was so profound that I honestly thought I’d dialed the wrong customer! It was amazing the change that came over her, just from hearing that she was getting her way. She never apologized for her prior ugliness – I doubt she even realized how she had behaved.
Does this sound like an exchange between you and your spouse? Does your tone change depending on how things are going? Are you happier and easier to live with when you’re getting your way? Does your husband often “give in” to you, just because he doesn’t want to deal with the consequences of displeasing you?
I have to admit – that is true of me so much more often than I’d like for it to be. Proverbs 12:16 says, “The vexation of a fool is known at once.” In contrast, the beautiful example of a godly woman in Proverbs 31 describes her as having kindness on her tongue (v. 26). I’m sure our husbands would much rather live with the kind woman instead of the vexed fool!
How do you respond when you don’t get your way? I’ll let you make the application of what “not getting your way” looks like in your relationship. I’m not saying we shouldn’t share our opinions or have a say in what happens at home – I’m just suggesting we take a look at how we express those things.
And be nice to customer service associates. 🙂