"You know something, Shay...you're a snob!"
I'm a what?!
Obviously I was more than a little surprised by her blunt statement.
Was she correct in her assessment of me? No. You could have knocked me over with a feather, I was so stunned.
How could she possibly say something like that!?
I spoke with her and discovered she had misinterpreted some actions of mine and made an incorrect assumption based on what she thought was fact. After a short discussion, she acknowledged she had made a mistake and we became friends. End of story.
The point I wanted to make is that many times people - myself included - send the wrong message to others by our actions. Yes, Veronica gave me a message. But I had also given her a message with my body language. It was completely unintentional.
I'm really glad that what happened, however, happened. Why? Because it's a good reminder of just how important our body language is. Sometimes we can be so focused on "things" that must be accomplished, that we don't see the people in the world around us.
What are some things we do that can be easily misinterpreted?
1) Busyness: Have you ever been so caught up in what "needs to be done" that you don't notice anybody around you?
2) Shy? I know. That may be easy for some people, but for others it is excruciatingly difficult to "speak up". But sometimes we have to be willing to work on things that don't come easy to us - and I know that I, for one, am willing to try harder if I think my actions or non-actions could be misconstrued as snobbery.
3) Unwillingness to say no. Lets see. How many of us avoid eye contact with someone because we don't want to be "waylaid" and actually have to say "no" to somebody. Granted, not everybody has that problem...but some people do. For them, saying no is paramount to walking a tightrope across Niagra Falls!
4) Emotional Doldrums: Sometimes I am so consumed with my emotional world that the outside world doesn't seem to exist. Now, I know people have feelings and sorting through those emotions is not fun...but again - it's important to understand that our emotions are not just affecting us. We are potentially hurting others as well. We all need to remember that. If necessary, we should remove ourselves from others for a while if we need to deal with "stuff".
These are a few things that we need to look at - maybe you know more. One thing I know for sure, though, is that if we refuse to look at behaviors that can communicate unwanted messages to others, then we might find ourselves saying...
Me?? A Snob?! Never!!!