Around half a year ago, I was serving a customer and her partner at the counter of our restaurant.
“Your total is going to be 21.25.”
She looked at me. In addition to paying for her order, she also said the following 2 words in a compassionate manner: “Bad day?”
She didn’t have to say anything more. Yes, I was exhausted from work and was at the receiving end of service troubles all day. It just happened to be that she was being served by me, who was having indeed a bad day.
At that moment, I realized just because I was having a bad day, didn’t mean the rest of the world was having a bad day. Even though it seemed like the world was being completely unfair and harsh, it was simply what I was feeling at that particular moment in time.
So while bad days and bad moments are personal, they’re just a speck of the bigger picture. Keep your head up and keep going.
The other day when we nearly ran out of ice at the restaurant, we went to the neighbouring kitchen to see if we could borrow some as they do with us when they run out of things like rice or peanut butter.
To our surprise, instead of the hospitality and friendliness we were anticipating, we were met with apprehension and hastiness.
In the end we got the ice, but it came with a bitter taste.
So what does this mean?
It means that feelings can be passed on and remembered. If we’re not careful, we can send the wrong signals and pave the way for resentment rather than connection.
One of my biggest vulnerabilities that can really get to me is when somebody tells me the three magic words, “I don’t care.”
It’s sharp yet blunt, and carries a weight like no other.
Maybe it’s because I care a lot.
Or because I have to be reminded that not everybody has time to appreciate the things I find incredible in this world.
To me, “I don’t care” is a really bad way to deal with emotion and feelings.
It’s a voice that holds a lack of love and curiosity and prefers to hide away instead.
Also a real lousy thing to say when somebody else is trying to talk with you in real time.
So how can we respond to I don’t care?
I don’t know.
We can’t control other people’s thoughts and feelings, but we can control our own. And what we should know, is that what other people say doesn’t really matter as long as we feel confident enough to stand our ground.