On a recent vacation, I met a woman in a small roadside local artist gallery in a tourist town. She was the owner and greeted me when I came in. Her greeting quickly launched into a rehearsed speech about how no one supports local artists. Barely taking a breath, she filled the room with bitterness as she complained about her customers. The experience was so unpleasant I instantly wanted to leave.
She continued her tirade by telling me how customers chat her up and waste her time because they don’t buy anything. I attempted to change the conversation and the negativity by commenting on how lovely the area was. She was not going to be swayed and proceeded to spew negativity. She launched into a story about how she is on a Board of Directors interviewing new parishioners for her church. She tells me that each time they interview, the rest of the Board gets mad at her because she always asks how the interviewee if they like shoveling snow. She tells me how she’s sick of the snow in this resort town and discourages others from moving here.
In five minutes this woman has told me that she doesn’t appreciate her customers, she is angry about her work, and that others get irritated with her negativity.
Her negativity was so all consuming that I couldn’t wait to get away from her. I proved her right, I was not going to support her establishment even if there were a few art pieces I liked. I wanted nothing that tied me to her negativity.
Think before you speak. What do your words say about who you are? Are you someone you would want to meet or buy from?