It’s my final blog of 2019, and I’ve saved an unlikely story of hope to leave you with. May you carry the spirit of its message into 2020 . . .
Not much else fires up my blood pressure like dealing with the CA DMV or DIRECTV. Since my California days have passed, TV trouble calls now top the list.
So when I faced my second talk with DIRECTV in two weeks, I felt stress oozing through my body.
See, my last call didn’t go so well. I’d asked for a refund on a “free” add-on promotion I’d failed to cancel after the free period. Despite my argument over their questionable renewal notice, I lost the battle for reimbursement.
Incredulously, the call ended with the rep pitching me a new “free” promotion. Seriously???
Up went the blood pressure.
So back to that second call—another bill issue. Based on the last experience, my stress response was preparing me for war.
But wait—I didn’t want a fight.
What I wanted was to be heard in a fair, respectful conversation. With that intent, I stepped into the student role and chose a few good tools that teacher-me would have recommended:
- “Stay present in your body”—I focused on my breath to keep my mind from taking over.
- “Speak with respect”—I really listened and reflected to the DIRECTV rep that I’d heard what he’d said.
- “Remember that we’re all connected”—I pictured the rep, not as a voice but as a human. One with a job in which callers verbally beat up on him every day. And I let this image influence the words I used, so that he’d feel valued.
I didn’t yield my position but I did wrap it in civility. And that’s exactly what the rep—and his manager—returned to me. It felt like a healthy school-sponsored debate.
So how’d this ignitable conversation avoid combustion? The three tools above helped set a respectful tone, which allowed the manager to really hear me, stay open-minded, and eventually reconsider his position.
Sometimes kindness and peace come in grand, heartfelt moments, like you’d see in a Hallmark movie. And sometimes they don’t.
Sometimes they’re spread through calmly traversing one challenging conversation at a time (even when we don’t get the refund) . . .
OR withholding hurtful words . . .
OR responding with compassion when another wrongs us.
In each of these examples lies an independent choice. A personal decision to bring peace to the world. It’s not some unachievable, naïve goal; it happens every time we use words or actions that strengthen rather than strain our connection to each other.
So as we journey into this holiday season and begin a new decade together, let’s choose kindness and peace. To a hope-filled 2020!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Thank you for supporting We Bold Souls this past year; together we’ll create a peaceful world community, one moment at a time!