When I was in college I worked in retail to help pay the bills. After working for several years, I learned how to work in multiple areas of the store. I started on the sales floor, learned how to cashier, trained in the electronics department, worked in grocery, spent several years in the stockroom, and even did a summer in receiving. The one area I had no desire to learn was the customer service desk. I had seen enough up there to know that I didn’t want to deal with the people that visited that spot. I was always amazed when a customer would be sitting there chewing out the teenager at customer service for no reason and the teenager would keep their cool. A simple, “I’m sorry sir, that’s our policy” was gently and quietly asserted. I know deep down inside the employee would like to stab the guy for being so rude and undeservingly mean, but a cool and composed response was what would come out.
After witnessing one of these interactions, I asked how they did it. “That’s what we are trained to do” was the response. “We stay calm and speak quietly to try and dissolve a potentially bad situation.”
Proverbs 15:1 spells this out perfectly. A gentle answer turns away anger, but a harsh word stirs up wrath.
If you are the one speaking harshly to someone, you will cause an argument…not a solution. You can get your point across and seek a solution, without stirring up anger, by choosing gentle words and speech.
Would you like to be known for your gentle speech or your harsh words?