Now, you may have imagined that after the story from last time I would be riding off into the sunset on a float comprised of colorful flowers, holding a bouquet of roses, wearing a bright blue ribbon, and waving to my many admirers proudly…
That is not what happened.
What happened is this: October kicked off with LOTS of talk about money. About budgets. About timelines. And, there were ongoing conversations between three annoying people. The first two annoying people were the ones that used their best salesman-like behavior to get me to do what THEY wanted: they complimented me, they minimized my level of education, they complimented me, they reminded me how good they have it without me, they complimented me, eluded to how much I should appreciate what they were “doing” for me, we laughed, they made an offer, and this offer had no room for negotiation. Fun times.
It got even more stressful as calls and texts rolled in quickly, urging me to come to an agreement. I felt harassed. I felt pressured. And even more important, I felt small.
I had given them too much power. I suddenly felt vulnerable, nauseated, and insignificant. My ego was bruised and battered from our last conversation. And, instead of just being real, I conjured up my best salesman-like persona and wanted to get even.
So…(drumroll please)…award to the third annoying person in this scenario goes to….
I was the third annoying person!
I became prickly and stand-offish at their relentless requests to quickly respond to their offer. I barked at others around me. I lost patience. I thought I was having panic-attacks. Crying in hysterics. Probably growing some ulcer somewhere. Folks…it was not pretty.
In fact, from that week alone, I earned the reputation at the 24Hour Fitness in Omaha for being quite “difficult” to assist as I was purchasing a membership. They actually told me later (when I was being a bit more pleasant) that they had discussed this as a staff when I left! What!?!?
So, here is me…trying my best to be all peaceful and loving, and reminding others to do the same. And this is what became me: bitter, quick, curt, hardened, physically ill, and “difficult.”
I made a decision.
I would not let them have this power over me. It is our choice to determine this. We can let others “make” us feel small and insignificant, or we can choose to work/laugh/play with others who lift us up and celebrate our skills, talents, and unique being.
The truth is, no one can “make” you feel anything. They are not powerful enough. Not ever. Like an ugly Christmas sweater, you have the freedom to observe whether or not you deem it ugly AND whether or not to wear it.
I decided NOT to wear the ugly Christmas sweater in this situation. I determined that, ultimately, it wasn’t about the money. Two annoying people became three annoying people, and this wasn’t the person I wanted to be. It was a hit-me-over-the-head life lesson in determining the kind of relationships I want to have in my life. And, that no matter what, I did not need to interact with others who minimized me, my education, or my professional or personal worth.
This is a choice. We have the power to make this choice.
Thus, the tale of three annoying people comes to a close. You can imagine what three annoying people were able to inevitably accomplish in this negotiation.
They can’t agree.
No one wins.
Because they’re annoying.
Be loving to yourself and those around you. Choose wisely who has the privilege to work with, live, and be in your presence.
You are a gift.