Jim’s Journal: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say!

February 25, 2014 in Jim's Journal

A couple of weeks ago I stood in line waiting to pay for the items that I was purchasing.  “Dude” behind me stood terribly close, actually thisclose.  I turned around to look at him, hoping that he would feel my energy and my insincere, uncomfortable smile and move back.  You’re right…it didn’t work.  I turned around again, this time staring and glaring a little longer, with more purposefulness and annoyance.  Didn’t work again!  Finally, I said, “You’re standing pretty close.”  He responded by saying, “Oh?”  But he didn’t move back.  Lesson for me?  The reminder that I have to say what I mean and mean what I say.  I should have, at first, simply said, “I think you’re standing too close and I’d like for you to move back.”  How often do you get annoyed when people don’t respond positively to your ambiguous, passive requests?  Ever get upset when someone didn’t move on something as quickly as you would have liked?  Have you ever had someone say to you, “I didn’t know you felt that strongly about that?”  Listen, part of the way they respond is their personal choice.  The other part is how clear, and how firm, you are when you assert your desire (that is if you ever do assert your desire).  They can always say, “No,” or move slow.  And, you can always strengthen your message by using the 4Cs (i.e., clear, concise and confident communication).  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we teach people how to treat us and they catch on fast!

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