Sunday Reflection: Answering

It's nothing I'm proud of, but grumpy people are my specialty. In fact, during my time working at the school district, I often felt like the “grumpy parent” whisperer. It could be my round face or my baby blues, but I think it’s something else. I think it’s the way I (most of the time) speak to others.

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
This past year, I had to communicate with a parent of whom others had warned me of, saying this parent was always angry and cursed when agitated. So when someone said, good luck talking to  that parent, I listened. I’m no dummy.
“The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.” Proverbs 15:2
My life experience with people helped me go into the interaction knowing there might be conflict.  After I talked to he/she, I asked the colleague who called me to say the parent was in her office, “How’s he/she doing?”

She chuckled. “Good! Unusually nice and calm.”

“I had no problems when I spoke to him/her on the phone last evening," I said.
She asked me to join them in a conference on how to help the student. When I entered the office, the energy was indeed calm. The parent was also polite, compliant and peaceful. The visit was productive.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.” Proverbs 15: 4
I learned a long time ago that respect for another and a gentle tone in my voice, seeded with kind words goes a long way. It doesn't mean I have to be a pushover either. 
“The lips of the wise spread knowledge, but the hearts of fools are not upright.” Proverbs 15:7
I’m not calling myself wise, but this is how I choose to roll with people: respect, kind words and a gentle tone in my voice. It works. You too can be the grumpy person whisperer because there are plenty. 

 Read Proverbs 15 at


  1. It is all in how we treat others. They will usually respond in kind.

  2. I love this post. I do the same. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to witness to a really tough, drug dealing dude. He was gruff in the beginning. But I stayed and spoke gently.

  3. Yep, how you come off to them indeed sure has an affect

  4. I think that grumpiness or defensiveness is probably from feeling like they are never heard. Listening goes a long way as does not being sharp with them right back.

  5. Love it. And yes, kindness and a gentle approach doesn't mean you are a pushover. It is a lovely way of showing respect. And usually pays dividends.

  6. The nation would do well to abide by these scriptures.

  7. I love it. Half of our experience is the expectation we take in with us, eh?

  8. If only you could bottle your gift of understanding! It is important to be reminded how effective the simple act of listening is.

  9. If only you could bottle your gift of understanding! It is important to be reminded how effective the simple act of listening is.

  10. As my grandmother always told me (especially when I was being the bratty thing) "You always catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." My response at that age, was something like, "Who wants to catch flies?" Now, being the age my grandmother was then, I'm a bit wiser as are you. I'm glad you were able to help the parent and probably the child. The school districts should give bonuses for successes like this.

  11. We get what we give :) I firmly believe


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