Sunday, January 27, 2008

My New Super Power
Can you see me? No? Hmmm... well then, that proves it. I'm invisible. There are times when I wish that I could be invisible, you know, when the kids are whining and crying and fighting and want me to solve all their problems... or when I HAVE to do laundry... then I wish I could be invisible for just a little while. But sometimes, I just wish that people would see me and recognize my presence.
Today we had a meeting for all the parents of Primary(organization in our church for the kids ages 3-11) children. I needed to speak with the President about Little Bug and our thoughts on baptism... there was a little line to speak with her after the meeting. I got in line and had 3 people step in front of me! It was like I wasn't even there. One after another they walked right past me. And I just sat there. Finally got frustrated and left. Later on I saw the President again and went to speak with her. Another lady stepped right in front of me as I got there. Again, I left instead of waiting around. Grrr... and then we go to Relief Society (the women's organization in our church) and we had a WONDERFUL visitor - Sis. Bonnie Parkin was here today (she was the General Relief Society President a few years ago in our church) and I wanted to much to say hello to her and just shake her hand. So, I waited around... there was a break in the crowd and she looked right at me, smiled and started to come my way.... when two women jumped in and literally* grabbed her. I was so flustered and frustrated that I left. I know... I have a bad attitude... I'm worse than my 4 year old! "I didn't get my way and you hurt my feelings so I'm leaving!!" :::stomp stomp stomp::: Someday I'll grow up. Sometimes I just get tired of people pushing past me. And they do it because they know they can. They know that I'll step aside. That I'll be patient. That I'll wait it out.
So, my question to y'all is this: how do you assert yourself without stepping on other's toes? I'm just not the type to push and shove my way through a crowd to get what I want... any ideas?
* This little footnote is more for JustRandi... sorry :) They did LITERALLY grab her when she walked past. I think it scared the crud out of her!!


Maddy said...

Hmm, I'm also trampled in the crowd, but I don't do crowds well so that might be part of it.

Maybe would sign ourselves up for an assertiveness training course? I know in principle the idea is to be assertive [rather than aggressive] but I'm never quite sure how to carry that off.

I always have brilliant ideas when I get home, but that's always too late!

Magirk said...

Got nothin' for you, baby. I'm a pushover. And I hate it. I hate that feeling of going to the Dr.'s office and they stuff me in the very back corner room, and then I sit there waiting for nearly an hour before anyone (even a nurse) pokes their head in the door! I hate it!

But, there are times when I just get fed up, and I'm the one that pushes in front of others. Not really, it's more like, when I'm in line and I'm in a bad mood, and I can sense someone there waiting to push in front of me, if I'm irked enough I can actually assert myself and not let them walk all over me. It's hard to do, though, since I'm pretty self-sacrificing, in general.

Sorry, no advice. And sorry, that all that junk happened to you. I know what it's like, and it's no fun.

Glad you were able to hear from Sis. Parkin, though! She's so sweet.

If you ever do discover the secret to being assertive-but-not-quite-agressive, please let me know...

Holly said...

For what it's worth, here's my two cents. First off, I think the conversation about Little Bug should not be in the hallway at church, it should be one on one. Call you PP and talk on the phone or set up a time to meet. That's one discussion that shouldn't be done in the public hallway. It's nobody else's business and you deserve the time necessary to discuss your concerns, issues, etc.

Now, second, stand there like you mean it. Stand up straight, look whomever it is in the eye and don't leave, even if someone cuts in front of you. It's hard, but we should not be pushovers, especially at church. Next time, in a situation like the one with Sister Parkin, stay there. She saw you, she was coming towards you, she would still have done that. Walk towards her so that you can walk up to the women who accosted her and either be ready when they leave or interrupt them, "Excuse me for a moment, please, I need to leave and I just wanted to say Hello..." It works. Trust me.

kailani said...

It really depends on the mood I'm in. I'm usually not a very confrontational person but if I'm tired or not in a good mood, I won't hesitate to set someone straight.

Yvonne said...

I am terrible at being assertive. But in this case, I would just call the Primary President at home.

How wonderful to have Sister Parkin--it must have been a treat to hear her. I don't know what I would have done, but I would have wanted to shake her hand and maybe that would have taken over my frustration, but I'm not sure.

I did love the little footnote for randi ; )

Melissa, you are not invisible to me. I think you are an amazing mom and I appreciate you so much.

Tonya said...

Sounds like some people in your area need to be taught some manners. Sheesh!

If I had been there, i would have been assertive (in a nice way) for you :o)

Nancy Face said...

I'm so sorry you were made to feel invisible! Be assured that you are very visible and special to your blog friends...and infinitely more are visible and loved by Heavenly Father! (((HUGS)))

JustRandi said...

HA HA! Thanks for that little note!! You crack me up.

About the assertiveness, I think moving in to someone's personal space at least lets them know you were there, and sometimes gets the message across to rude line-butters. But I'm so sorry it all seemed to happen to you on the same day.

wynne said...

Hmm. We have the same problem, apparently.

What I do is I just wait. And I stare at the back of the rude person's head and smile. And smile. Eventually they feel my eyes on the back of their heads and tuuuurn and see the psycho grinning at them. Don't break eye contact. Don't stop smiling. But make your grin a little wider, and try to bug your eyes out a little. Drool, too, if you can. They won't cut in front of you again.

Kimberly said...

Hello my twin! We have this in common as well. I tend to get lost in the trample of the crowd...asserting myself doesn't come easily, but getting annoyed at others sure dose! So frustrating!