It really has to do with the way we say it

ttc - The better way
@arkaf61 (10881)
March 17, 2008 11:30pm CST
A few weeks back my husband came back from the variety store in our street really upset. He told me that he gave $20 to pay for what he bought and he was given change for only $10. And when he pointed that out the lady said that no, he had given her only $10. THey argued and the only result was that he came back without his correct change and ready not to go there anymore. Now I can see both sides. I know that my husband wouldn't say he paid with $20 if he hadn't. But I can also understand that many people try to con others and the person in the variety store has to be careful about that - not counting the fact that everyone can make mistakes. However I know my husband. He would be polite at first, but once he would notice that the person was doubting him he would get a bit defensive and would enter in an argument. Today, I went to the same store. I needed bus tickets and I also wanted a bottle of water and gum. SOmehow - and this is my fault too - I was talking to the lady while making my purchases. She took out the little box where she has the tickets and then asked me if I only wanted 5 - because I usually by 10 - . I explained it's a shorter week, got my change and left. When I got to the bus I realized that I hadn't received the tickets after all. I was a bit late for work, so I paid for the bus both going to work and coming back. The store is just on my street so I stopped there before going home, and told the lady " we made a boo-boo this morning. We were chatting so enthusiastically that we ended up forgetting the tickets, both you and me" She was surprised and at first told me " But I gave them to you" "You were going to give them to me, when you asked me if I really wanted only 5 remember? " Well from there I could see she remembered that part of our conversation. I never put the blame on her, I was as much at fault, and I didn't argue, I just acted like we both made a mistake. I came out with my tickets. She gave them to me with a smile, and I got thinking... it really has to do with the way you actually say the things. She didn't have to give me the tickets. It was my fault for leaving without them, without checking. I don't think she would either if I came in ready to blame her for not giving them to me, starting an argument or saying that I would never shop in there again. Instead I made sure she didn't feel attacked, I showed from the beginning that I was as much at fault as she was, I reminded her of how it happened and why, and not even once there was any friction between the two of us. I also acted as if I had no doubt that she would give me the tickets. So, often it's not what you say but how you say it. Actually make that always:) Do you think before you say something in a situation like this? Do you feel "tricked " and start of if battle mode, or conciliatory mode? Do you tend to make people feel defensive or make them at ease and calm? Have you have been in a situation where you realized later that if you conducted the argument/discussion/conversation in a different way you would have gotten more positive results?
2 people like this
1 response
• United States
18 Mar 08
Oh yes indeed, I can shoot off my mouth then have to apologize in the same breath. The thing with your examples here is that, it would have been very easy to prove either way. If not at that minute then at the end of the register time by counting down the drawer and counting how many tickets were sold based against the number still on the computer. I know as I have had to do this very thing myself for customer's. Not everyone is out to cheat you. granted you have to be careful, but there are honest people, and for some of us 10.00 is alot of money and to much to lose. means the difference for 3 gallons of gas in the car or milk for our babies.
1 person likes this
@arkaf61 (10881)
• Canada
19 Mar 08
LOL hubby is like you :):):) I understand that it would be possible to find out at least at the end when it's time to balance everything, but showing that there are $10 extra dollars wouldn't prove that it was my husband's $10. Or even that the tickets that weren't given out were mine instead of anybody else. It would have been easier if I had had the time to go back right away, but I couldn't so I just got there about 9 hours after. Now it is very true that $10 can really make a difference and it is too much to loose. And that's why hubby was so upset. But I wonder if he had been calmer, and explain things in a different way, maybe he would end up getting them back.