She would not share her crayons or glue with me. We were grown ups. We were working in a child care and every two rooms were supposed to share crayons, glue, and supplies between all the kids.
She did not want to share her crayons and glue. She talked ugly to me and about me every day.
I told my husband about it. He said I should ask her why. There was NO WAY I wanted to go up to this angry, knife throwing, butterfly crusher of a woman and ask her why she wouldn’t share her crayons.
Preparing for the battle, I prayed and put on my best armor. I knew the next time she threw darts at my head I’d speak peace to her. It seemed she’d be pretty mad if I did this but my job was important and the need for income and to care for these kids outweighed whatever she’d do to me.
Right on cue as expected she tore into me, roaring loudly and cutting me down in front of all the teachers and children.
I calmly and genuinely said something like, “I’m very sorry. Please tell me what I have done to offend you. You seem really angry at me and I’m not sure what I’ve done to you.”
She broke into a hundred tears.
She cried and said she was so sorry. She just recently moved here, was miserable and she’s been taking all her stress out on me.
I was stunned.
The next time someone won’t share her crayons and glue with you remember there’s probably not anything you did. There’s probably stuff underneath that is creating anxiety or fear and it comes out as anger. Put on your storm gear and walk softly into the storm.
Your soft words can be a welcome and unexpected surprise and let her finally talk through her pain.