Originally from New Jersey, I learned the hard way that aggressive behavior is a no winner, especially when you move to the south. I can easily remember a time when my department, at work, held a charitable event to raise money for cancer research. With such a food cause, I volunteered to sell doughnuts at this charitable event. This happened shortly after moving to Charlotte, North Carolina. Let’s just say that people in Charlotte are far more gentile than folks from up north. So, here I am in an unfamiliar setting trying to do my best.

Aggressive Behavior Serves No Good PurposeUnfortunately, the planning committee decided that the best day to hold this charitable event was on an Ash Wednesday! So, needless to say, sales were slim to none, as many people were fasting that day. Here I am in a public place, with people whizzing by, heading to work, shouting, “Fight cancer. Buy doughnuts! Fight cancer. Buy doughnuts!”

Well, my aggressive sales tactics got back to the chair of the charitable event, and I was told in an oh, so subtle way that my aggressive behavior was not appreciated. It was on this occasion that I learned that when someone from the south says, “Bless your heart,” that such a comment is not meant to be a compliment, nor a good wish for me. It is an expression of pity.

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