Whose windshield are you washing?
I was driving, to play Pickle Ball, the other day. I was following a little red car that was following a black truck. All of a sudden this spray shot up from the truck, over the roof and onto the red car. It took me a second to realize the truck had put on its windshield washer, when it happened again.
Now the red car had a couple of different options in how to react to the situation. They could have laid on the horn, or flipped the truck the bird, but they didn’t. They simply turned on their windshield wipers and got their windshield washed by the washer fluid from the truck. It was a perfect “two for one.” There was so much spray coming over the top of the truck, the car never even had to use its washer fluid. I had to chuckle.
How would you have reacted?
There are so many scenarios where we can choose how to react to an action. For example:
• Someone pulls into a parking spot you were driving to
• Someone says something you disagreed with
• Poor customer service
• A ref/umpire makes a bad call
• You disagree with a politician
So many possibilities, I couldn’t begin to mention them all. Think of something that tends to get a reaction out of you.
There are three ways to react to something:
1. Hard core, loud and obnoxious, trying to force your opinion on others
2. Roll with it, discuss things calmly and be respectful of the other people involved
3. Ignore it, don’t get involved
Of course, if the action happens to involve you directly, ignoring it is probably not an option. That leaves you the other two choices. Will you be loud and obnoxious or calm and respectful? It is a choice.
Knowing that option one will create a (probably) negative reaction from the other person(s), I tend to default to option two. Discussing things calmly and respectfully gives the other person the chance to respond to you in the same fashion.
Heated situations can often be diffused by calm and respectful conversation. If you refuse to react loud and obnoxious, it makes it difficult for the other people involved to continue to be loud and obnoxious.
In short, calmer heads can prevail over any situation. So when someone unexpectedly sprays washer fluid on your windshield, simply turn on your wipers and enjoy the clearer view.
*Pam Horton is a Board Certified Advanced Christian Life Coach, in the Raleigh area.*