Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Week of Gratitude: Day 3 – Keeping My Mouth Shut

 

My son recently locked all the keys inside the car. We didn’t have a spare key or valet key at home so I decided to tow the car to the dealer where they would be able to open it and retrieve the keys. At the time, my son would drive to his boss’s apartment complex, pick up a company van, and go do his work so the car was parked in the common parking area of the complex. I drove over after work to wait for the tow truck and to wait for my son who would drive my car home.

When I drove into the parking lot, I had a hard time finding a place to park. There were several generations of line paintings visible with overlapping visitor and reserved signs painted over the parking spots. I guessed at what I thought was a visitor spot and waited. After an hour I noticed a woman in a car behind me in the parking lane of the complex. It looked like she was waiting for someone to come out and join her.

After a few minutes, I looked again and she motioned to me. I was in her reserved parking spot and she had been stewing there, waiting for me to get out of the way. I moved around to the other side of the parking area and picked another spot that looked like it might be for visitors and got out to apologize. As she walked in she made an angry comment to me about people parking in her spot and not on the street.

Well, I started to stew. There was no way to tell which spots were reserved and I was angry that she was mad at me about it. I spent the next 30 minutes thinking up good retorts if she came back out and said anything to me again. But in the back of my mind, I kept having this thought that it would do more harm than good. The tow truck finally arrived and started hooking up my son’s car, which was right next to hers. She came running out in a fury exclaiming, “You’re towing my car?! You’re towing my car?!”

I was all queued up to tell her to “go inside and feed your cats” but I had cooled down enough to let my better angels prevail. Instead, I explained to her that it was my car and I told her why I had been loitering in her parking lot. It was rather comical to watch the realization spread across her face that I hadn’t spent the last hour and a half purposefully tormenting her. She then told me, “I’m sorry, I’m not usually such a (you can fill in the blank), it’s been a hard day. This morning I had to put down my cat.”

I am so grateful that I didn’t ruin her day further with a snarky comment. I wonder how many times I have compounded someone’s difficulties with my own big mouth? I’m grateful for the reminder that I need to do better.

Day 2

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  1. iWe Coolidge
    iWeJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Beautiful. And a lesson to us all.

    • #1
    • November 24, 2020, at 4:07 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  2. Gossamer Cat Coolidge

    So stands a good deed in a weary world…

    These days we have to work extra hard not to increase the level of tension in the world. Good job!

    • #2
    • November 24, 2020, at 4:24 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Caryn Thatcher
    CarynJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Amen! The cringe when considering you might have said what you had been thinking, given the reason for her bad day.

    This is such a lesson in something I try very much to do: judge favorably. Assume the best of every person–especially stranger–in every interaction (until proved otherwise). The “rude” person may have just heard bad news and be distracted. Or have poor vision or hearing. A corollary: sometimes that “racist,” “sexist,” “anti-Semite,” “homophobe,” whatever…is just a jerk, a plain old garden variety jerk. No ideology at all. In other words, don’t take rudeness personally.

    • #3
    • November 24, 2020, at 4:30 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  4. kedavis Member

    Okay, great. But sometimes it seems like all I see are the “Wow I’m glad I didn’t say what I was thinking!” kind of thing.

    Every once in a while, can’t I read about someone who got the comeuppance they richly deserved? :-)

    • #4
    • November 24, 2020, at 6:51 PM PST
    • Like
  5. Alan Drake Coolidge
    Alan Drake

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Okay, great. But sometimes it seems like all I see are the “Wow I’m glad I didn’t say what I was thinking!” kind of thing.

    Every once in a while, can’t I read about someone who got the comeuppance they richly deserved? :-)

    Not from me. It never works that way for me. Every time I try to give a good comeuppance it blows up in my face.

    • #5
    • November 24, 2020, at 8:02 PM PST
    • 4 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  6. kedavis Member

    Alan Drake (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Okay, great. But sometimes it seems like all I see are the “Wow I’m glad I didn’t say what I was thinking!” kind of thing.

    Every once in a while, can’t I read about someone who got the comeuppance they richly deserved? :-)

    Not from me. It never works that way for me. Every time I try to give a good comeuppance it blows up in my face.

    Well at least you know where you stand in the universe. :-)

    • #6
    • November 24, 2020, at 8:34 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  7. Charlotte Member
    CharlotteJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Well done. I am absolutely terrible at giving people the benefit of the doubt, even though I am wrong roughly 100% of the time about other people’s motives.

    • #7
    • November 26, 2020, at 10:48 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. JosePluma Thatcher

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Okay, great. But sometimes it seems like all I see are the “Wow I’m glad I didn’t say what I was thinking!” kind of thing.

    Every once in a while, can’t I read about someone who got the comeuppance they richly deserved? :-)

    There are several YouTube and Reddit channels for that. You can immerse yourself for hours if you want to. 

    After awhile, you begin to feel a little dirty, and realize that everyone has flaws. It’s a lot easier to go off on someone than see things from their viewpoint.

    • #8
    • November 28, 2020, at 9:40 PM PST
    • 1 like
  9. kedavis Member

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Okay, great. But sometimes it seems like all I see are the “Wow I’m glad I didn’t say what I was thinking!” kind of thing.

    Every once in a while, can’t I read about someone who got the comeuppance they richly deserved? :-)

    There are several YouTube and Reddit channels for that. You can immerse yourself for hours if you want to.

    After awhile, you begin to feel a little dirty, and realize that everyone has flaws. It’s a lot easier to go off on someone than see things from their viewpoint.

    But again, “comeuppance they richly deserved” isn’t about people who were having a bad day or something. It’s about the people who were being jerks with no excuse, etc.

    • #9
    • November 28, 2020, at 9:53 PM PST
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. JosePluma Thatcher

    kedavis (View Comment):

    JosePluma (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Okay, great. But sometimes it seems like all I see are the “Wow I’m glad I didn’t say what I was thinking!” kind of thing.

    Every once in a while, can’t I read about someone who got the comeuppance they richly deserved? :-)

    There are several YouTube and Reddit channels for that. You can immerse yourself for hours if you want to.

    After awhile, you begin to feel a little dirty, and realize that everyone has flaws. It’s a lot easier to go off on someone than see things from their viewpoint.

    But again, “comeuppance they richly deserved” isn’t about people who were having a bad day or something. It’s about the people who were being jerks with no excuse, etc.

    Of course, we’re hearing only one side, so it’s no surprise that the reporter wants to look like a hero.

    • #10
    • November 28, 2020, at 10:15 PM PST
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Suspira Member

    Thnnks. That’s a lesson I really need these days.

    • #11
    • November 29, 2020, at 5:46 AM PST
    • Like
  12. Poindexter Member

    I have a black belt in Keeping My Mouth Shut.

    • #12
    • November 29, 2020, at 7:02 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. MichaelKennedy Inactive

    In most of these cars with key fob electronics, there is a code that will let you leave the car and get a new key and fob. My daughter lost her key about ten years ago and it cost $400 to replace but the dealer told me where to find the code.

    • #13
    • November 29, 2020, at 7:49 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Annefy Member

    One of my mother’s rules “you’ll never be sorry for keeping your mouth shut”

    A favorite Tee shirt given to me by good friends “Lord, keep your arm around my shoulders, and your hand over my mouth”

    • #14
    • November 29, 2020, at 9:40 AM PST
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Alan Drake Coolidge
    Alan Drake

    Annefy (View Comment):

    One of my mother’s rules “you’ll never be sorry for keeping your mouth shut”

    A favorite Tee shirt given to me by good friends “Lord, keep you arm around my shoulders, and your hand over my mouth”

    I think I’ll use that quote if you don’t mind. 

    • #15
    • November 29, 2020, at 5:01 PM PST
    • 1 like
  16. Annefy Member

    Alan Drake (View Comment):

    Annefy (View Comment):

    One of my mother’s rules “you’ll never be sorry for keeping your mouth shut”

    A favorite Tee shirt given to me by good friends “Lord, keep you arm around my shoulders, and your hand over my mouth”

    I think I’ll use that quote if you don’t mind.

    They’re all yours.

    i recently repeated the mom quote to my brothers and sisters. They had never heard it … so apparently dear old mom thought I was the only one in need of such advice (she was correct)

    • #16
    • November 29, 2020, at 5:39 PM PST
    • 3 likes