I consider myself an assertive person. Give me a family member with an issue and I’m all over it. The two areas, though, where my assertiveness evaporates is any kind of monetary salary negotiations and my hair.
I know these two are not related. So let’s first get the whole money thing out of the way. For some reason money, in regards to me getting some, is my Kryptonite. I can’t explain why in almost all other arenas of my life I’m a bulldog, but when comes to asking for a raise I lose all my boldness.
I have talked about this issue with a friend who has a degree in psychology, but is currently a pharmaceutical rep, and she thinks it’s because I’m insulted that I even have to quantify my worth. It should be a given that I’m fabulous and should be compensated accordingly. Yes, yes and yes, to all of the above. Another friend, also with a psychology degree, who is now a Realtor, told me it could be a result of me being uncomfortable putting a price tag on myself.
This makes perfect sense especially when I think about my childhood. I was raised in a Southern home where you didn’t talk about money. It was considered uncouth. So, perhaps that’s the problem: Southern manners keep me from self-advocating. Note to self: Work on this issue – asap.
Now onto my hair. My whole adult life I’ve been a coward about telling any stylist that I don’t like what they’ve done to my hair. I will sit in the salon chair and bold-face lie after I’ve dropped $100-plus on my mane and say, “Yeah, it looks great. Thanks.”
In reality, it looks horrible. So, horrible, I’m already doing hair math and calculating how many times I have to wash it to get the hideous color out. Yep, that’s right I’ve endured that many bad salon treatments that I have it down to a science how to remove color. Spoiler alert, it’s equal parts dandruff shampoo and baking soda with a vinegar rinse.
The fact that I will pay money to get my hair done and then wuss out infuriates me. Why can’t I share that my desire was, in fact, not to look like the Bride of Frankenstein? Instead of being assertive I’m persuading myself that it’s not that bad. That, it’s only hair. It’s no big deal and maybe I’m just being overly vain.
I’m ecstatic to report that recently I had a breakthrough. I finally got the gumption to stand up for myself and my follicles. During my last hair appointment, I knew things had gone terribly wrong when the stylist removed the towel from my hair and it looked like the dirty water that’s left over in your shampoo vacuum – murky and of indeterminate shades of ick.
I gave myself the usual pep talk of “Just wait till it’s dry. I’m sure it will be fine,” but then something happened. Something came of my mouth that I had never heard before while sitting with wet hair in a salon. I asserted myself and muttered, “This looks bad. Like, really bad.”
The stylist assured me all was well as she started blow drying my hair and, of course, it wasn’t. I remained strong and proclaimed, “We’re going to need to fix this because my hair is now making me sad.”
It was liberating. I felt beautiful, minus my hair of course, and I was so proud. I had done it. I had finally asserted myself all over that hair salon. Now, all I need to do is work on that money issue and I’ll be golden. Ironically, that’s what I was going for with my hair color.