Have you ever been on the receiving end of a dodge ball?

I was in the supermarket the other day and saw someone that I was just not in the mood to speak with. I was pretty sure that they saw me too and I wondered, Should I dodge this person or should I just be polite and greet them? I am ashamed to admit that on this day, I dodged–BIG TIME. When I saw her coming down the aisle, I ran. When I approached the checkout line, I glanced to make sure she wasn’t there. When I left the market I could see that she was in front of me so I pretended to look at my receipt and delay my leaving. When I saw that the coast was clear I walked straight to my car…AND GUESS WHAT? It turns out she was parked right next to me and looked straight at me as I drove away with my tail between my legs.

On top of that, a week ago I was on the throwing end of the dodge ball. I was getting out of my car and saw someone that I knew. I yelled out to the person to say hello. Unfortunately they were less than interested in me at the time, so they completely blew me off. And let me tell you–it didn’t feel very good at all.

This question of whether or not to dodge someone is becoming a problem! Why is it so hard for us to put on a happy face and engage in simple niceties? Perhaps we have become hardened by society. Instead of being fun, spontaneity now throws our plans off schedule. Are we so important that only certain people are worthy of our time and attention? Has it become too draining to be polite?

In my classes, I teach that we should always try to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes — we need to think about perspectives and how people feel. It seems harmless when we are dodging someone, but when we are the ones being avoided, it feels terrible!

I learned my lesson that day. We all could use “The Golden Rule” to:

  1. Treat others with decency and
  2. Acknowledge others with a friendly hello and smile.
It’s the least we can do to harmoniously co-exist in today’s busy and aggressive world.


What do you do when you see someone you’re not in the mood to speak with? Do you run, or do you meet them head on? Post your comments and/or experiences below and…

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