I noticed something at work this weekend: sometimes people behave aggressively to cover up that they don't know something. Now, this may not be news to anyone else, but it's like another layer of revelation for me.
Sometime in college, I came to the realization that most everyone I met was insecure. Maybe it was about their looks or their clothes, maybe their public speaking or their grades, but there was always something. This made it much easier for me to relate to the people around me. When I felt insecure and uncomfortable, I just remembered that the people around me had fears too, and I was able to more clearly express myself and move onward.
That people would behave aggressively to cover their insecurity is just another part of that, but one which played out this weekend with a demanding customer. Now, I'm always happy to help my customers find what they are looking for and I love talking about food, so it's fun to explain and educate people, but this woman's tone of voice and physical positioning were very aggressive. Lucky for me, she was asking the cheese clerk and the baker about the cheeses used in the New York Times fondue recipe and the difference between French and sourdough bread, so I just observed this.
The next step is wondering where I might behave aggressively to cover my insecurities.