Filling Your Niche

Trust yourself to speak up

The other day I took Miss G to the salon for some facial hair tidying. As we’re leaving, the aesthetician says to me, “Listen, I have to thank you.”

“For what?” I say.

“Well, last week when you were here you asked for a pillow because you said it felt like you were tilted downhill. And since then I’ve been using a pillow for everyone, and when I ask all my clients they say ‘Oh, this is so much more comfortable, thank you!’ So, thank you. I never even realized. Everyone is so much happier now!”

My first reaction was to feel a little embarrassed that I opened my big mouth in the first place. And then I thought, wait a second. All her other clients were uncomfortable. ALL of them. Yet no one else said a word. They would rather be uncomfortable, and trust that Ali the Aesthetician knew better than they about their own comfort level. Not that she isn’t delightful but…

Why didn’t anyone else speak up?

Speaking up is something I’ve been working on. Those who have known me a while are probably laughing right now… yes, okay, despite my opinionated ways, I DO have problems speaking up. About some stuff. Mostly, speaking up in the moments when it’s both most vital and most challenging to do so, especially about things that trigger my anxiety… like lying tilted slightly backwards and upside down in a very, very small room. *shudder*

We are so willing to subjugate our own instincts to an external authority, whether it’s an aesthetician, teacher, doctor, or whoever. What makes us think that an outside party knows what’s better for us than… well, us?

On my list of things to do this year: trust myself more. Trust that I know how to be happy better than anyone else knows what I should be doing to become happy. Even if it’s as small a detail as asking for a pillow while getting my eyebrows waxed.

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Maarit • 01/22/2013

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