I felt my temper rising because I knew they were talking about me. I don’t speak Korean, but some things don’t require translation. I can read attitude very well.
I walked into the nail salon for a gel manicure at 7:25 and they closed at 8:00. As I sat down at her station, the manicurist pulled out a large emery board and attempted to file away the old coat of gel polish. She thought I’d accept short cuts, but I decided my nails would be too damaged. There was no bypassing a 15-minute soak.
The shop closed and suddenly I was the only client surrounded by six seething manicurists and a shop owner who apparently carpooled together. As I sat waiting for her to finish, they prodded her with questions in Korean. When she quoted me in English, there was not doubt she was talking about me.
As the conversation continued, I became incensed. I toyed with the idea of telling them they were rude. Instead, I decided that a small tip would be my response. Then, I remembered the second choice that winners make…they choose greatness instead of smallness. I decided to be generous. Because even though my manicurist wasn’t happy—she still gave me great service.
I paid my bill and as she passed me my change, I told her to keep the majority of it. Shock crossed her face and she literally squealed, “Thank you!” as she waved the tip around showing the other manicurists. I thanked her for her service and as I put on my coat, her colleague shouted in English, “Next time, you come to me!”
When we choose to live life in our greatness and at a higher standard, we make the choice to:
1. Be Thermostats, Not Thermometers: Many times, we lack control of our lives because we are consistently giving away our power. If we allow others to determine our standards, our values and behaviors, we will never respect our decision-making ability. The choice to live out of our principles—not our emotions—gives us greater control. If I didn’t tip, I would have missed an opportunity for influence.
2. Give a New Experience: Taking the high road can be annoying. In the heat of the moment, we don’t want growth—we want the satisfaction of getting even. But when we refuse negative emotional entanglement, we open the door for others to grow. We engage the possibility of a different outcome. I doubt the people in the nail salon will stop talking about customers in their faces. Though they have lost me as a customer, I do hope it showed the person who serviced me—and a few of her colleagues—to always respect their clients.
3. Be Free: I left the nail salon empowered by my choice to not engage in “tit for tat.” They have a God-given right to think what they please. I exercised my right to not be ruled by those opinions. From beginning to end, I was true to what I deserved and owed as a customer. Getting back isn’t an act of strength—it’s one of surrender. We all lose when we allow pettiness to be our response to someone else’s smallness.
Do Your Work: Practice recognizing the moments where you’re tempted to be small. Despite the other person’s behavior, respond with the integrity that represents your best.
Define Your Wealth: Affirm your success by repeating daily, “I am who God created me to be. I choose to be the best me at all times! I will not let life—or humans—redefine me in their image!”
Recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork, Felicia T. Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ who empowers her clients to turn their Worth into Wealth as she partners with them to DISCOVER their WORTH, DO the WORK and DEFINE their WEALTH. Get more insight, download the FREE “8 Choices Winners Must Make” seminar MP3 on her website.