We’ve all been there. Sometimes you are just going about your day, minding your own business and BAM someone comes out of nowhere and decides to unleash a world of anger on you. That stranger sitting next to you on the subway starts yelling about you for smooshing them. The lady in front of you in the express lane flips out on you for having a 6 pack, and 5 other items in the 10 items or less line because well, she’s counting your sodas as individual items. The clerk at Duane Reade gives you serious A-TUDE when you add a candy bar to your order at the last second. Or that person who’s heel you accidentally stepped on does not want an apology. No, they would rather scream in your face. Usually it’s completely uncalled for, and often just totally ludicrous that someone would be getting so upset about such a small thing. Most times, you get this verbal lashing through no fault of your own.
Then we’ve all been on the other side of things. You burnt your hair in the curling iron, you accidentally overdraw your account, you are late to work, and then to top it all off you drop your perfectly good ice cream cone in the gutter when someone brushes by you a little too closely. You are having a BAD day. Then you go to the Verizon store to try to get your phone fixed and end up crying or yelling when the guy behind the counter can’t help you. You’re just taking your emotions out on an innocent bystander.
At least, that’s how I prefer to think of things. I would rather decide that when that person decides to lose their shit on me for no apparent reason, that maybe they are having a terrible day and need to vent a little. No, it’s not the most appropriate way to cope. But does it happen? Yes. Sometimes we get overloaded and just. can’t. deal.
Would I rather not be yelled at by strangers? Sure. Sometimes do I get mad right back? Sure. Yet, when it comes right down to it, I’d rather try to be a little nice even to the meanies. I’d rather think maybe their dog got run over this morning and they needed to get a little anger off their chest. Although I didn’t appreciate it, maybe they feel a little bit better afterwards. Maybe, just maybe by letting someone lose it, I’ve just helped to make their day a little brighter. I’d rather think that, because the alternative? Well, that’s just: people are plain old mean.
Originally posted here: http://jungleejuice.blogspot.com/2010/11/random-acts-of-meaness.htm