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The recent public speaking posts have made me very aware of other people’s behaviour at the moment. I’m sure I will soon revert back to my self-obsessed state, but for now I’m riding this wave. :) Something happened a few days ago that I thought was very interesting…

I took my 12 year old nephew to a local store so he could buy something. We both waited in the queue, him holding the items. He walked up to the counter, placed the items down and stood, money in hand, waiting for the items to be passed through the checkout. The checkout lady looked at me and said, “Do you want a bag?”. I tilted my head towards my nephew in a “why don’t you ask him?” manner, which she ignored, so I conceded and said to my nephew, “Do you think we need one?”

When we left the shop I chatted with my nephew about the encounter. In this situation, it’s not unnatural for people to direct their attention to the adult, but I suggested a slight modification of his behaviour could have altered this. If he had walked up to the counter and said, “Hello. Just these please?”, or something to the same effect, I’m sure she would have seen him talking ownership of the situation and would have directed her question to him. I can’t guarantee it, but I think it is very likely.

It’s kind-of like that fake it until you become it thing I mentioned in a previous post. If he had asserted himself early in the interaction, the outcome might have been different. It makes you wonder how many interactions you have on a daily basis that you blindly float through on autopilot and what impact they would have on your life if you paid more attention…



PS. I’ll stop with this hippy stuff soon and get back to book and movie reviews. :)

Interactions was first posted on January 17, 2014 at 3:50 pm.
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