For 3 months I’ve interacted daily with my remodeling contractor. He’s a sweet, thoughtful man who goes out of his way to make sure I’m feeling good about his work.
He recently shared with me that a new woman client refused to give him a key or use a lockbox at her house — she had to be home whenever he entered. This makes it difficult to get his work done. When he asked about other options, she said, “I want to be home when you’re here. I have daughters and I don’t want anything to happen to them.”
He was insulted.
I would be, too.
Sometimes we let slip exactly what we’re thinking without considering how it would sound to the receiver. I’m not immune from this myself, and have had to back peddle when my mouth is engaged before my mind.
But some people never hear how voicing their immediate thought could be insulting. And it’s too bad, because they are alienating people they want to help them.
What is the cure? I wish there was an easy one. The only one I know is to be mindful of your comments before they escape from your lips. And to pay attention to someone’s body language to see if they recoil from your comments. If so, you know you have some cleaning up to do, so apologize immediately.
You build alliances by being kind and thoughtful to people. Insulting someone does not make them want to be around you. This is common sense, I know, but it is not commonly put in practice.