Try Not to Catch “Their Bug”

by on April 27, 2016

Try Not to Catch “Their Bug”

frustratedmanThe last few days my wife has had a bad head cold. Fortunately, lots of rest has made it better than it has been. However, during these past few days she has been careful to try not to pass the cold onto others, including her husband. Earlier today we were together at our local pharmacy when the occasion was in front of me to possibly “catch” a different type of bug if I had not been prepared for its possibility. Sometimes we can be experiencing a perfectly great day and have it go sour when we do not have our awareness sharp and defenses up to be alert to what is going on around us. However, today fortunately I remained aware of the circumstances surrounding me.

The checkout counter at the store had a line of customers. There were only 2 cashiers working. Normally this store tries to have 3 or 4 cashiers at the cash registers during busy periods. One of the store employees came by and asked the cashier who was about to wait on my wife and I why he had not called for assistance when the line had gotten long. His reaction to the other employee was to let her know that it was his understanding that all other available employees were on break or on other assignments. It was clear he was upset with her asking.

My wife and I began our transaction providing him the items we were going to purchase so he could scan them into the register. As often as she can, my wife brings her own bags into stores. She is very conscious about limiting the number of paper or plastic bags stores provide to us. The canvas tote bag we brought into the store was under my arm. When the cashier began bagging the items into a plastic bag my wife indicated to him we had brought out own bag. Immediately, I could sense that would bring a reaction. And, sure enough I was right. The cashier again indicated how was he to know that we had a bag if we had not provided it to him. I was not sure how my wife would react, (would she ask him to unpack the items he had already bagged from the plastic bag, would she let those go, and ask that the remaining items go into the canvas tote bag).

My wife chose the 2nd option of letting what had been bagged stay, and asking the rest to be put in the tote, (as it was we had brought enough items we were likely going to need some in the plastic bag). I myself immediately apologized to the cashier and let him know that I was sorry we had not told him quicker we had a bag and I had not provided it. I did so in a calm manner. Could I have reacted more harshly? Yes I could have. Could I have been flippant in my response? Again, that would have accomplished nothing but would have already enflamed a situation that had embers on it.

Again, we can easily be drawn into the drama of others. But, we don’t have to be if we don’t choose to. That was one of my earliest lessons from coach training. However, applying it is not always easy. It takes being and staying totally aware of what is happening around you. It takes resisting the temptation to tell another how they should be doing something, as opposed to listening to what is troubling them, and asking them what they would hope to accomplish. Other times it may be making another aware of perhaps how other people around them are feeling given the circumstances being currently faced

We often put a lot of effort not to catch “physical ailments” from others. However, it takes similar type effort to avoid taking on their “emotional ailments”. Give that some consideration if you believe you have been down recently by taking “on the baggage” of those who come into your life.

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