“You’ll catch more flies with honey” was a staple phrase out of the mouth of my mother when I was growing up. It might have been in most of your homes as well. While someone could literally catch more flies using honey as a tool, I embrace the meaning of this saying more figuratively and I have called upon this motto in a lot of different situations. I have found throughout the years that the expression’s sentiment is useful at almost any time in a person’s life.
I especially like to choose to remember this phrase during sticky situations (no pun intended)! Some of the stickiest can be those moments when you are trying to deal with a customer service representative. I generally have to remember this saying about two minutes before I am going to lose my cool with the person behind the register, on the other end of the phone, or someone who is seemingly ignoring me behind the desk. In those moments, I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and say to myself, “Mom would say I’ll catch more flies with honey.”
That saying reminds me that a little kindness, sweetness, and understanding goes a long way in those situations. It also reminds me that just because I may not be seeing eye-to-eye with the customer service worker at that exact moment, does not mean they are inept at their job or out to ruin my day. Perhaps they are right. Perhaps they just had a run in with someone who was very rude to them. Perhaps I have not done everything that I needed to do on my end so that they can do their job properly.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. There is absolutely no sweeter time to remember the notion of catching more flies with honey. Try it sometime soon in your life. Perhaps you will be sweeter to someone and square away a difficulty all at the same time. That reminds me of another expression that my mother taught me: “Killing two birds with the one stone.” But that will have to wait for another day!