It's Not About The TeaI have a friend who is a therapist and she told me about an experience she had while waiting in line at a Starbucks. My friend was contemplating whether she wanted a tall or a grande when she was startled by the woman in front of her, who began to give the Starbucks staff a verbal pasting. Her voice continued to grow more and more shrill as she proceeded to 'explain' to the staff why it was NOT okay that they put sugar in her tea. My friend felt her hand dart into her handbag as she fished around for her card, thinking to herself that this woman really needed her services. She later told me, 'Whatever was going on there, wasn't about the tea. That woman had something major going on in her life and she just needed to vent, which was unfortunate for the Starbucks staff."
I strive to be polite and courteous to everyone I meet. I have been accused of being overly passive, and perhaps I am, but if someone lashes out at me and I can honestly say I've not doing anything to warrant it, I just remind myself that 'it's not about the tea.' I don't know what's going on in other peoples' lives. People face hardships that I cannot imagine coping with myself. If I can help, I will try, but if all else fails, I can offer my kindness and understanding.
It's not to say I am 100% patient and tolerant all of the time. I'm short-tempered and impatient just like anyone else, but my friend's story has helped me to keep things in perspective. On days when I am pissy and irritable and find myself snarling at those around me, I use her words like a mantra. 'This is definitely not about the tea.'