The other day I flipped out at a vendor we had worked together with on a certain project. He kept me waiting for almost 45 minutes. OK, not me directly but like the rider I had sent to pick something from him and deliver to a client? I was super pissed. And I let him know as much and not in the kindest of ways. I didn’t say anything mean, or so I think, I simply let him know how unprofessional he was being, but just in like 100 words and not in a calm voice. Not one of my proudest moments for sure.
I am a believer and so every day I try to put on the WWJD attitude. (What Would Jesus Do?) It’s not easy though, people out here be trying you every single second. Not easy but not impossible either, that’s what I need to remember and so today as I did my morning devotion, the Lord challenged me about that specific reaction and I wanted the ground to open and swallow me but we know there is nowhere too far for the Lord, so I just stayed put and ate humble pie as I got checked, of course in a loving but firm way. I was wrong to have reacted as I did. Period.
I am not saying the vendor was not wrong on his part in keeping us waiting and then giving me attitude about it (I think I’m still slightly salty about it). Don’t judge, I’m work in progress. Lol. He clearly was wrong and it was clearly very unprofessional for him not to let me know he was running late. By the way people, it always is just courteous to let someone know if you are running late, remember time is the one resource we can never get back and even 10 minutes can a make a huge difference. So, let’s just respect each other’s time. I digress.
Back to the vendor and my reaction.
You know the saying that goes something like you cannot control what happens to you but how you respond is entirely up to you? Mhhhmmmm. This is the lesson. You see, when you react, there is really no thought process put into it. Its just the same way chemicals react with each other. Nothing special about that. And this is how we end up with situations that were anthills and now are mountains, simply because we reacted, without thinking.
I don’t want to be controlled by my environment. I want to be so solid in my character and who I am that no matter what you say or do, I will keep it classy and loving all the way. Know how Jesus was enjoying a nap while the disciples were freaking out because of the crazy storm and the fear of the looming death? That’s the kind of attitude I want to have. And the way Jesus responds when he finally wakes up? He wasn’t panicking. First, he addressed the disciples then commanded the storm to be calm. Even at the storm, he did not scream.
Another nugget of wisdom, you don’t need to scream or shout to be heard. Being firm has nothing to do with the pitch of your voice but the conviction with which you say something.
Now, I am not advocating for us to pretend to never get bothered or angry. People will get under our skin, however, we are in control of how that situation turns out. We are in control of how we respond. And I want my response to always be one, from a place of love and two, inspired by WWJD. Because my mission is to always add value. Not sometimes. Not in certain situations but in every situation. And this calls for a level of responsibility and level-headedness that I can only hope and pray to God to help me master because by myself, disaster!
I want to be able to respond in a manner where I address the issue and not dress down the person. I want to be able to be firm but in a loving way, because whenever we feel criticized, we get defensive and the problem just escalates from there. I want to be able to look at the storm and calmly but firmly say, be still.
So, how would I have handled this scenario differently? I would have taken a walk or sang a song and then when calm, tell the vendor that I did not appreciate how he handled the situation, explain the importance of communication and the ripple effect of not keeping time and ended with a smile. This would have addressed the situation better.
Also, I am now realising that when we are angry, more often than not it has a lot to do with us than with the person who has caused us to be angry. I will delve into this later. But for now, when you feel yourself get angry, before reacting, check yourself and be sure you ain’t tripping about the real reason you are mad, so you don’t end up attacking the wrong person/thing!