I’m sure you have heard the expression, “You get more flies with honey than with vinegar”. What this essentially means is that if you are sweet and kind, people will be attracted to you, and you will most likely get the response you want…and if you are sour, you will get the opposite response. Well, I’m here to tell you that this is the truth! In my life I have experienced many, many examples of this truth.
I will now tell you about a situation that happened recently to prove this point.
This past summer, our Casita was broken into. Between the damage and the theft, we experienced a pretty hefty loss. When we called to report this, we were impressed that a police officer and a detective came out. They took prints, swabbed for DNA, and took a thorough report. We were so happy that these people seemed to be all over this. We were very hopeful that they were going to find the thief and justice would be served. We really had no expectations of having our monetary loss replaced, but we were hopeful that we would take a thief off the streets and eliminate this happening to someone else.
Well, our optimism that anything would ever come of this investigation soon dwindled. I kept calling the detective, and she kept telling me she was busy with “higher priority” cases. I felt like I was taking the lead on this case instead of her department doing their job: I was the one who continually followed up. I emailed her all the information she asked for, and kept a log. In turn, she requested that my husband and I drive down to the station (45 minutes each way) for additional items they needed…instead of her coming to our home.
My patience with the Burglary Task Force’s lack of follow through lasted longer than my husband’s did. Five months after the break-in, the fingerprints that they collected were finally submitted. Why in the world did they not submit them that day? I was tired of being shoved to the back burner. I was tired of having to chase justice. I was fed up with being inconvenienced when we were the ones who were robbed. I felt like the justice system was a total joke. I was done being nice and waiting and hoping something would ever come of this…so I wrote a not-too-nice email to the head detective.
Guess what? Although the investigation was pretty much going nowhere…I was getting more flies with honey. After I sent the email, I never heard from the detective ever again. I figured that would be the case. My hopes of them ever following through and catching the guy was lost long before I wrote the email. So I felt like I had nothing to lose. But, this story does prove my point, in that I was at least getting my calls returned when I was being patient and sweet…and the minute I became bitter and sour, I’m sure the police report and our file ended up in the trash.
Have you ever been in a situation like this? Things are going well as long as you are being sweet and kind, but as soon as you reveal your frustrations, things make a turn for the worst? So are we supposed to continue to be sweet and patient while we are being taken advantage of? Are we supposed to voice our feelings, even if that means shooting ourselves in the foot? There has to be a balance of self respect and respect of others in all of this. We can’t sit back and politely be taken advantage of, and we can’t act sweetly fake to get what we want. What are your thoughts?
Take Action: This week and moving forward, let’s be sweet and kind. If we feel someone is not treating us well, let’s handle it with grace and use our words wisely instead of saying something mean out of frustration and anger. Let’s find the balance of setting healthy boundaries so we are not taken advantage of!
Because Together is Better,