I Wouldn't Have Given You that Style
By Debbie Friedman
Sitting in a beauty salon chair for the second day in a row, my mouth almost dropped open as the owner began to explain why the person who had cut my hair the day before let me down. I had explained my desires clearly, I thought: I wanted bangs, longer hair (even explaining that I'd let it grow out for two months from the last cut), no top of the ears, and no boy look. I'd brought pictures (three of them!) to show the cut that I'd felt most comfortable with over my life. I'd been in this chair before and knew the perils. In one brief cutting session I've turned out looking like a boy too many times. I expected this time would be different. I'd come prepared.
But no, the owner explained. They were trained at his salon to do updated styles, not out-of-date styles. He would never give me those bangs that went to my forehead. He would never cut my hair in that style that I wanted. No, the style I was wearing on my head was artistically perfect. He was telling me that I couldn't be the "me of my vision, that I couldn't be who I wanted to be. He was setting limitations for me and telling me that I needed to be who he wanted me to be!
My frustration and anger were intense until I got in touch with the lesson to be learned. Sometimes people might be hearing, but not listening, to me. People, despite my best attempts, may refuse to honor and respect me. I might know what I want, I might be able to communicate my desires clearly, I might even have photos to show of my expectations, but if the person I'm talking to decides not to listen then I am powerless. It's important for me to make sure that what I have communicated is being listened to, not just heard, and - more importantly - that I will be respected and honored.
I've tried being what other people wanted me to be - parents, my husbands, in-laws, bosses, colleagues, even some people that I called "friend for a time. Trying to please them, make them feel comfortable, make them feel at ease, and ultimately try not to shine only diminished my sense of self! It's never worked!!! All of those times when I felt I had to be what other people wanted me to be and in the process denying myself and what's important to me. Hiding in fear of not being accepted, of being rejected, or at the very least not being "good enough". All along, just wanting to be loved, appreciated and accepted.
The lesson I learned was that it important that I express myself, and take responsibility for my actions and expressing my needs. But it's important, too, that I make sure that I'm communicating with people who choose to listen. People who are not so wrapped up in their own sense of importance, their own ego, to value who I am, to honor me, and to trust that I know what I want my life to look like. People who will honor my decisions and desires - even if they're different from their vision - and allow me to be who I am.
If I don't get what I want, it's okay to let people know and to allow the owner to spend a half-hour of his time trimming my hair so that the back is even. I don't want or need people to tell me who I am, who I should be, what I should look like, in order to meet their own personal agenda. It's okay to be me, to love my personal style and to honor myself.
And if they choose not to listen, it's okay to move on to someone else. I learned that, next time, I will ask the stylist to tell me what he/she would do with my hair to make sure they will honor my wishes. I learned no one will cut my hair again unless they do.
About The Author
Debbie Friedman, M.S., C.Ht., is the Manifesting Maven who helps people
consciously create the life they love to live. She is the creator of the popular
Cleaning Out the Closet of Your Mind for Wealth series.