Something happened this morning that shocked me. I wanted to quickly do something to feel better about it > so here I am!
I pulled into my local coffee shop, on the way to work. A car was sitting in the middle of the drive and blocking incoming and outgoing traffic. When I got into the coffee shop, I figured out the man at the counter was lost and needing directions. It must have been his car. I thought about saying, "Hey, great parking job buddy!" But I decided it didn't really matter, and I just placed my order and waited.
In the time it took to get my quiche and tea, one of the baristas kept going over directions for this man. Even another man chimed in some help.
Meanwhile, my barista kindly informed me the tea I wanted was out of stock and suggested another and she prepped my order... and it all seemed to go somewhat swimmingly.
Admittedly I thought the barista was having to invest a lot of time going over and over directions, but hey it's Monday and I've been lost.
Then when the man left, I am not sure he even said "Thank You!" but here's what I know he did say:
"You all need a man working in here."
I think we were all so shocked no one said anything, but the whole coffee shop heard it. Because as soon as he was out the door, the man who had chimed in to help was up and to the counter saying that comment was NOT cool and the women on the stool at the counter by the window said she heard a glimpse of what he said. But the barista helping him clearly heard it, and the man nearby clearly heard it, and I did too.
I am not one to remain silent, and after he left I wondered why I didn't say, "Hey, and you need a woman to park your car!" But I didn't. Because if there's one thing in life I am committed to learn it's this:
You can't talk to people you can't talk to.
And any person saying that comment is likely not someone who could hear anything I had to say.
So I decided to snap a photo of the baristas, and do a little blog about how to handle this. Obviously the women helping him was shocked and truly disappointed. Here are the fabulous baristas, the lady on the left gave directions and on the right was helping me!
So here are 5 tips for dealing with hateful people that may help you:
1) If you help someone who ends up being a hater or hateful, you can still be grateful you helped them. They definitely didn't acknowledge your goodness and generosity - but those things still exist and other people noticed. And you can just feel even better you helped someone who truly needs it.
2) You don't always have to have a snappy (or rude) comeback. Although I would like to think we could just put someone in their place every time, it's not always worth it or wise to bother. In this case, no one was in danger so sometimes it's better to just move on. Of course, I know that it can help to speak up so by all means do so if you feel that it's needed.
3) Notice the people who respond to support you or the situation. I started to do an inner rant on sexism, when I realized another man immediately got up on his feet and said "No!" - affirming that what another man said wasn't right. In addition to that man, everyone else in the coffee shop was like "Whaaaaat did I just hear?" This is confirmation that goodness exists.
4) Take these things as a reminder that -isms are not just out there somewhere else, they can pop in at any moment. When we do our personal growth work to be clear and healthy and strong, we can observe these things for the BS they are and do something constructive and keep going.
5) It's okay to feel the energetic shock of prejudice and injustice of any kind. That means you are a H-U-M-A-N! Yay! Up your self-care and be really kind to yourself. Being around people who are not in alignment with LOVE does not feel good, nor should it. But you can get back in alignment, so do it!
Remember, that life is an "Opportunity School" - to learn, to self-love, to share love. Turn hate and haters and injustice and prejudice on its head by not responding in a hateful and prejudiced way back. Otherwise you are perpetuating the negativity you dislike. Keep being the lover and goodness sharer you are!
Hugs to Central Coffee in Plaza Midwood and to the amazing women who work on the front line there and are kind! I commend you :)