Several years ago my husband and I ran into an old acquaintance. We hadn’t seen him in a few years. Here’s the scenario: He shook my husband’s hand and began talking to him. He did not look at me. I wondered if maybe I had become invisible. Note that there were no religious reasons why he could not shake the hand of a woman.
I had only a second to make a decision.
- Do nothing. Let him ignore me.
- Take charge.
In my younger days I would have opted for door number 1. I would also have fumed all the way home. So, door number 2 it was.
I interrupted by extending my hand, he instinctively took it, and I commented how long it had been since we had seen him. No fuming on the way home.
I had various reasons for taking door number 2.
- I felt his behave was inappropriate and I was being intentionally ignored.
- Responding to rudeness with rudeness is also inappropriate. For me to then ignore him would have been emulating his behaviour.
- Nobody makes us feel insignificant; we allow them to do so.
What would you have done in this situation? We all deal with delicate situations differently. Let me know your thoughts and how you think you may have reacted.