Adventures in Supermarkets: Lessons in communication

Conversations heard at the grocery story. I love when I overhear conversations – I am often surprised by their content, seeing how we are all in a public place!

Act 1:

A guy and girl were walking. I think they were boyfriend and girlfriend, or at least testing the waters. She was talking about her dog and he replied as follows:

Just so you know, any conversation about pets and animals is not going to be met with any reciprocal joy.”

I am not giving this relationship very long. I also caught up with them in the frozen food section, and she was talking this time about something she wanted him to understand.

“And I just want you to know ….” He interrupts: “Ok, what is it you want me to know now?”

Yep, I am not thinking this potential hook will last long. Empathy is key to conversations and actions. Connection bids, where you are sharing a story about your pet or setting boundaries, should be accepted rather than blocked. These two need to play the improv “Yes, and” game.

Act 2:

On the same trip, I was accosted by a passive aggressive, angry shopper. Granted, my cart was a bit out toward the middle of the isle, my bad. It was at an angle with the handles toward the center of the isle and the cart bumper toward the window. This was also in the refrigerator section.

This last event on my daily shopping task reminded me of our problems in the US today. In general, we don’t know how to talk to each other. We make a lot of assumptions about why people do what they do, and most of the time, these assumptions are incorrect. They are based on our own personal biases.

For myself, I was under the weather that day, functioning in a fog and so was not as aware as I should have been about where my cart was stationed. It happens to us all. In my fog, a woman literally rammed my cart as if she was giving the cart a derby hip check. The cart then rickashaed off the glass in the frozen food section and almost hit me. She then looked at me with a smirk and said “oh, excuse me!” Then rolled her eyes. I apologized for leaving my cart in a bad area and she turned and left. I was left there thinking: WTF?

This woman had a young child with her and I thought, wow … example much?

Now it is hard to know why she behaved as she did. Maybe she was in a bad mood, but we must all check our behavior when we interact with others. What I worrie about is the example her child witnessed. This child, whether hers or not, just recited information that says acting aggressively toward another is ok, as long as you can get away with it. We offer this example a lot in our world today, espically online. Empathy, folks. Talk to someone and find out what is going on rather than assuming or raming them in the store.

I have to go shopping again today. Could be informative!

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