There have been times where a customer walks in and I greet them, exuberantly – because that’s how I do – and they respond with disbelieving sarcasm. There was one time where it actually hurt my feelings a little bit, when a customer mocked my tone. Sure! I’m a sales-person in a shoe-store, and Yes! I’m aware that people who feel cared for and attended to will have a better experience in a business like ours than those who are ignored and treated with indifference, but my awareness of these facts does not preclude the verity – I’m excited and happy to meet new people, see familiar faces, help someone find the shoe that fits the best.
Things aren’t always mutually exclusive.
In defense of being over-the-top, it takes a certain amount of vulnerability to step out of yourself, ignoring the ‘moderating voice’ that doesn’t think you should say that thing or be that guy. It takes a little bit of courage to be.. to BE.. to put yourself in the position that you ARE engaged, concerned, listening, helping.. when you know others might view your intensity as something self-serving or somehow dirty.
Sometimes, when I’m not feeling it, I bring it anyway and guess what? I begin to feel it. So did I manufacture it? Is IT real? Should I apologize because I forced myself out of myself and into someone who cares about what’s going on with the customer, friend, spouse, parent, etc.?
It’s not even ‘fake it ’til’ you make it’, and it’s not acting either – it’s just deciding that you aren’t the only soul alive in the world who is experiencing life from a singular perspective. In fact, you’re an actor in everyone else’s play whether you like it or not.
You get to be whoever you want – so you might as well be over-the-top helpful, good, kind, loving, caring, vulnerable, accepting and on and on.
The alternative sucks.