“Cute haircut. . . I’d look even better if you’d combed it.” That’s what Oprah’s stylist said to me when I ran into him in the mall.
I can remember a time when a comment like that would’ve really upset me (maybe even made me cry). I would’ve been humiliated and walked around the rest of the day or even weeks fuming and self-conscious about my appearance.
But what happened that time? Not much.
What I once would’ve taken as an insult had little effect on me. I smiled, thanked him for the compliment– he liked my haircut–and went about my day.
I’ll admit, it was an awkward moment. And I was humiliated for a minute.
I don’t possess a superpower that makes me impervious to insults. What I do have is the power to choose how I’ll interpret a comment.
Whenever someone has a negative opinion of me or makes a comment that I’m tempted to let define me, I’ve got options. No one can offend me without my permission.
I can choose to take their comment as a hard and fast truth or I can see the comment as their opinion. And everyone’s entitled to one.
The world is full of people who’ll try to knock me down to make themselves feel big. They might not like the way I dress, parent, drive, or style my hair. But they don’t determine how I feel about myself or anything else.
Oprah’s stylist didn’t need to insult me to make himself feel big. I mean, he’s Oprah’s stylist. It’d be a safe bet to say he doesn’t even remember it.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I feel like I don’t measure up. I’m not pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough. But, I won’t let someone else determine how I feel about myself.
I can’t declare a 100 percent success rate. But I was successful that day in the mall.
I’d run into the mall to grab a tube of mascara when I ran into Oprah’s stylist, who just happened to be in the store that day. I thought he worked there so I asked him to get me a tube of the smokey long lasting when he insulted me. Then he brushed if off by explaining he was Oprah’s stylist.
I made the choice not to let his insult get to me.
Getting ticked off and holding a grudge wastes time and energy. And, says to the insulter that I value their opinion.
So, when someone tries to cut me down, I don’t have to agree with what they say. And, they certainly don’t define who I am.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was kind of exciting. It’s not everyday I’m dissed by someone of “Oprah” proportions. But, everyday I’ve get to choose how I’m going to interpret and respond if some relative or friend or you-fill-in-the-blank decides to take a jab at me.
God says I am fearfully and wonderfully made, hair and all.
Share a time when someone insulted you and how you handled it.
Previously published on Real Moms Don’t Judge in March 2016