Last weekend hubby and I went to an early morning garden sale at one of our local home improvement stores. The Lawn & Garden department becomes quite crowded during this event. Customers frantically move from section to section searching for the veggies, trees, or flowers they want. It most certainly is not the place to be if one has anxiety. It can quickly become an overwhelming experience.
This is our third year at this sale. So we know what to expect now. We also know that it works best for us to not get a shopping cart and just carry the items we need between the two of us.. Shopping carts get you stuck in aisles. When people get stuck, patience fades quickly, and anger rises. Anyway, the whole ordeal turns into a circus.
I realized something this year though. If customers help each other, it becomes a much more pleasant experience. I realized customers were just taking turns nudging their way up certain aisles, and then they would read the tags on the items just to discover the item they wanted was not in that section. After a few minutes of doing this myself, I realized I could just speak up to the person in front of me who was checking the tags on the items and ask if my item was one of them. I mean, what are they going to do? Either answer me, or ignore me, right? So why not speak up?
I did this again while trying to find a certain tomato variety. A nice older gentleman said he had not seen it yet, but he had seen this other variety. Then a woman came up asking about the variety the man had just mentioned. So I let her know the gentleman next to me had seen that kind. After looking around a bit more, I heard a woman mention an item I was looking for still. So I asked her about it, and she politely informed me that they were in front of her. While searching for the lettuce I wanted, I let another woman know what was in front of me.
Do you see where this is going?
I noticed that once a few of us were helping each other, more people started speaking up and helping also. Sometimes people need to hear others ask for help, or offer help, in order for them to do the same. One person can start a chain reaction.
If I had remained quiet and too afraid to ask a stranger in front of me for help, I would have spent a lot more time searching for the items I wanted. I was grateful for the help I received, and in turn, I helped others.
I want to encourage you to be someone who starts a positive chain reaction. Look for the opportunities in your day to help others see the benefit in helping others.
Be brave. Speak up!