“Good manners sometimes means
simply putting up with other people’s bad manners.”
H.Jackson Brown, Jr
I always worked with the public. First, as a hairdresser then managing a card and gift shop and many years in furniture sales. For the most part, people were nice, polite, and pretty easy to get along with. Of course, there were those few that could ruin a day in a matter of minutes if I let them.
When I was a hairdresser it was easy to weed out the difficult clients who never seemed pleased with my efforts. If they didn’t move on to another stylist on their own I simply told them I thought that perhaps they would be happier with another stylist. Usually, that did the trick and they would see someone else. But sometimes they would talk with me and we would come to understand each other better and continue our relationship with more patience.
Card and gift shop…most customers were pleasant and easy to get along with. Every once in a while there would be a problem but nothing big. After a couple of years, I quit because I was bored with the job and to be honest my good manners were not all that good at the end.
Furniture sales I loved. I learned a lot and had great clients. There were those few that were difficult but I understood that furnishing a room or house or office can seem overwhelming to some. For me, it was a fun challenge for the most part and I enjoyed the interaction with clients. Of course, there were problems and bad days with dissatisfied customers but rarely were their problems ones that couldn’t be solved. It just took time and patience and a little more work. It also helped that the management and staff were wonderful to work with.
In my working life, I did learn that sometimes bad manners happen and the best thing to do is not get upset and make the situation worse by responding with bad manners. When I was young, I started working at 17, I wasn’t the best-mannered person and often was offended when someone thought differently than me and bluntly let them know what I thought.
As they say…with age comes wisdom.
I learned to treat others as I would like to be treated
and to meet bad manners with good manners.
Makes the days, and people, nicer and more pleasant.
“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions and not our circumstances.” Martha Washington
I have a friend who is never happy. I cannot think of a time I have heard her laugh. Of course, she has had bad things happen to her, we all have. And she has been badly hurt by people she loved. It saddens me to see her spend her life being bitter about the past and allowing it to control the present with no hope for the future. I can understand how she feels. I have been where she is. I know it can be different.
There were times in my life that were pretty awful and I was miserable. What made me wretched and sad was how I processed what was happening in my life. I saw only the difficulties, the troubles and struggles. I didn’t see anything good. I was unwilling to accept help or advice. I became comfortable in my misery. It was easier to accept the misery than to do the work needed to see what was real and what was imagined.
Some of my reality was ugly but not all of it. I just focused on the ugly. My imagination worked overtime on the negatives and gave little thought to the positives. It took time and energy and hard work to learn to think rationally, to see my circumstances clearly and take resposibility for my mistakes and stop blaming myself for things I couldn’t control. Change was really hard. The anger and tears, denial and acceptance, lies and truth, to learn to live with what couldn’t be changed and change what could be, to forgive and be forgiven, all had to happen to begin again and to live a good and happy life.
Life is good if you don’t weaken… and don’t give up!
“Look on every exit as being an entrance somewhere else.” Tom Stoppard
It seems most people think of an exit as an ending but surely it is more than that. There can be no beginnings without endings. It starts with birth. We leave the womb and enter this life apart from the place where we were brought into being. Beginnings and endings go on and on all through life.
We continue to exit from where we are and find ourselves at the entrance to new experiences and lessons. Some look at these doorways with fear and foreboding, others with happiness and excitement . I have stood at my doorways with both attitudes and feelings at different times and places in my life.
I have found that things are rarely as bad as I think they will be and usually much better than I imagined. It has a lot to do with mindset. If you think the worst will happen you will be miserable and miss out on the wonder of exploring the world while on your journey and that would just be too sad.
“Life is what we make it,
always has been, always will be.”
If you have spent any time reading Patricia’s Place you know that I tend to be positive. I know there is ugliness in the world and there has been some in my life. I choose to learn the lessons negative things have to teach and move on rather than dwell in that place. There are times I am hurt and unhappy and I cry. I think unhappiness, sadness, grief, hurt, anger, all the negatives are just part of life and crying is what helps cleanse our feelings and emotions so we can heal and be happy again.
I know a woman who is very unhappy. She complains constantly and almost always has a negative response to any comment. I don’t think I have ever heard her laugh. Oh, occasionally there is a little chuckle that is short and quiet but never a great big loud guffaw belly laugh that makes you happy just to hear it whether you know the reason for it or not. She is very smart and a hard worker. I like her and I think she likes me. But we rarely agree about anything! She always sees the negative and never wants to consider that she may be wrong.
How we look at life and how we respond to what has happened, is happening, and what may happen makes a difference in the kind of life we live. It is our decision whether to dwell in the past or worry about what the future holds or live in the here and now with happy grateful hearts. I think whether we are basically happy or miserable is up to us.
I know I drive my friend crazy with my positivity,
just like she drives me crazy with her negativity.
I won’t give up.
I am positively stubborn!