“Cute haircut. . . It’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 one day.
But, I didn’t focus on how I felt. I focused on what I chose to believe.
I can choose to embrace the feelings of embarrassment and humiliation, or I can choose to embrace God’s truth.
Which is exactly what fueled my response that day in the mall.
It was Saturday morning. We lived in the Chicago area. I’d run into the mall to grab a tube of mascara.
The place was packed. I just wanted to grab some smokey long lasting and leave…except they keep the mascara locked up like spray paint at Walmart.
I flagged down some folks, who looked like they worked there.
I was just about to ask this guy to grab me a tube of mascara when he looked at me and insulted me.
“Cute haircut . . . ”
Well, naturally, I was momentarily flustered. I’m a mom. Over 40. “I’ve still got it,” I thought and smiled to myself.
Before I could sheepishly bat an eye, he added LOUDER, “It’d look even better if you’d combed it.”
Then he dismissively flipped his hand in my direction and said with a slight lisp, “Oh, I’m Oprah’s stylitht so I just say whatever I want thometimes.”
My face grew hot.
First thought? “Look, dude, I ain’t Oprah.”
Second thought? “You don’t know me like that. If you did, you’d know I’ve got 5 kids at home, and you’re lucky I even have a bra on today.”
But I didn’t say that.
I was humiliated. For a minute.
I smiled. Not a nervous, twitchy grin– a real smile. (I also smiled because I thought I might be on hidden camera because no one is that bold.)
Then, I thanked him. For the compliment. He liked my haircut.
I could’ve run down a list justifying my hair, my clothes, or anything else he didn’t like about me.
I could’ve thrown some shade back his way. But why? Throwing shade back says I value his opinion.
When someone insults me, I’ve got choices. They may choose to insult me, but I get to choose how to respond.
- Hear the comment as a hard and fast truth.
- Hear the comment as their opinion and remind myself of God’s truth.
Everyone’s entitled to an opinion.
What really matters is how I respond to it. My response shouldn’t be based on my feelings. My response should be based on God’s opinion of me not theirs.
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. And that’s okay because they don’t determine how I feel about myself or anything else.
I’m not saying Oprah’s stylist needed to insult me to make himself feel big. It’d be a safe bet to say he doesn’t even remember it.
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 get to choose how I’m going to respond if some relative or friend or you-fill-in-the-blank takes a jab at me.
So, when someone tries to cut me down, I take a deep breath and remind myself of the truth.
That’s the only opinion that matters.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made, hair and all.
What do you do when someone insults you? Tell me about it.