‘Don’t be an asshole.’-everyone at some point in his/her life
#4) Popularity fades, kindness doesn’t.
Every time I visit my local B&N cafe–so in other words 2-3 times a week–it’s always the same blonde, curly-haired woman behind the counter, and every time I order she poses the same question: ‘What do you want?’
I know she recognizes me–she’s already preparing the drink as she inquires about my order. Because I haven’t requested the same drink the last 2,367 instances I’ve been there. And yet…she asks for my name, despite the fact it’s already scrawled across the top of the cup. Eyes strictly cast downward, unacknowledging, like the weak paper object in her hand trumps her respect over me in every way.
I used to take a stab at small-talk, too. ‘How’s your day going?’ ‘Take your time.’…Even when there’s literally no one else in the cafe. And I always receive that plaster of a customary smile that’s not really there, and those still unacknowledging eyes refusing to deign any sign that I’m a human being, and instead might be an inferior creature. Right before she looks at her phone, texts a little, chuckles at a message.
What gives? I understand people deal with bad days and I don’t want to come across as toooo judgy (refer to Nugget #2), but no way she’s tolerating those bad days all 2, 367 times I’ve strolled into that small cafe. Does having power over me because you have the honored privilege of serving an apparent low-life such as myself her $3.50 mocha allow you to act to the unfriendly point where I want to punch you in the nose, just to hear anything other than ‘whatdoyouwantwhatsyourname’?
Eh, maybe she’s a robot.
It’s okay to be anti-social, especially on the job–I’m like that when getting my hair cut and the barber is firing 52 questions at me when all I want is for her to keep quiet and massage my head. There’s nothing wrong with preferring books or music over people, or engaging in activities that don’t include moving the mouth muscles too often, or even Disapparating as fast as Harry Potter into your room when your mom’s friends suddenly arrive for Book Club night. But let’s be real: common courtesy should be demonstrated to an extent, not where you stand silent and aloof–otherwise you may as well become a mime, and not as many people would want to punch you in the nose.
#) 5: ‘No’ is a complete sentence.
“Want to catch the latest chick flick and grab a beer after?” “Uh, yeah, uh, sure…I’m tight on money and would much rather spend my night watching Chopped…uh, but, uhh…” NO.
“You should really consider this job as a sales associate at Kohls, you’d love it!” “Um, well, yeah, wow, sure, I probably would, even though I know I want to be a journalist…” “Great! I’ll set up the interview tomorrow!” “Don’t…” NO.
You don’t have to say it like that, but “no” will always be a complete sentence. Many people fear using it because they feel…
#6) Stop feeling obligated.
The only time I ever “lie” is when I don’t want to hang out with someone.
“Heeeeeeey giiiiiiiirrrrrl!!!!!?!!! Want to hit the bars downtown tonight?”
“Oh, gee, I’d love to, but I’m currently experiencing my bean burrito bowl I bought earlier from Chipotle in the form of the mother of all food babies.”
“Oh. Sorry. Hope you feel better.”
Click. And I go back to watching my 7th episode of Chopped.
People undergo a sense of obligation because they don’t want to hurt a friend’s or family member’s or whoever’s feelings. Kudos for being kind, respectful, and thoughtful, but understand it’s okay to embrace your own opinions, desires, beliefs, and choices–it certainly beats being a reflection, a mirror, of what others want to hear and see. You can be respectful in other ways.
I’ve been in conflicts with this need to display courtesy by the simple, lay-myself-down denial and proving that I have my own desires. Look back at Nugget #5.
Don’t give up your own voice in favor of appeasing another. Don’t feel obligated 24/7, although I know much of that stems from…Check out Nuggets 7-9 over the next few days!