I can be moody. I don’t like this fact about myself, but it’s the ugly truth. I often wish I was given a more laid back personality. It would pre-empt so many problems (or at least the way I perceive those problems). The fact of the matter is that I require a lot of sleep, I’m prone to low blood sugar, I’m tightly wound, and I have a lot of sensory issues that make me sensitive (and then irritable) to smells, sounds, textures, etc. I need to be well-fed, rested, not too hot or cold, and hormonally balanced to be at my best. So yeah, a lot of the time you can just call me Ms. Grumpypants. Grumpopotamus. Groucho Grouchy. Grouchalotatus.
So the other day, I was waiting to buy two items at the only checkout line available at the store. There were about five people in front of me, all with overflowing carts, and a few with misbehaving children. I didn’t blame them. I felt like misbehaving myself. I was overly hot in my winter coat. When we had to wait even longer for a price check, I too wanted to start throwing candybars on the floor in protestation like the toddler in the cart in front of me.
When it was finally my turn to pay I didn’t make eye contact with the cashier. I was grouchy. I didn’t feel like being nice and making silly small talk. I just wanted to pay for these things and get. out. of. the. store! I ran my card through the slider and grabbed my bag. The cashier said to me in an excited voice, “Oh, Elizabeth Hunter! How fantastic! Can I have your autograph right here,” pointing to the signature pad. I laughed out loud. The line was delivered perfectly without too much sarcasm and just enough playfulness and glint-in-the-eye to make you feel both special and silly. My mood lifted and I felt guilty for my rudeness. It was an excellent reminder to me to never underestimate the power of a few cleverly spoken words. They can completely turn someone’s day around. I know they did for me!
As a reminder to get over myself when I’m feeling tired and irritable, I made myself a little poster. I thought a few of you might like one too! You can download a full-sized copy here: cleverly spoken words
Go forth and speak some clever words! You might just cheer the Grouch right out of them!