I was sitting at a casting the other day when in waltzed a very striking girl, with a train of drama behind her. To cut a long story short we were almost 200 + on the waiting list and she just had to jump the queue for some urgent medical appointment. I was the first to give up my number and allow her to go ahead of me in spite of the huffing and puffing of other models, because it’s the nice thing to do. Correct?
It just hit me in the face
After a long wait and many dirty looks from the other girls, I left the casting wondering why I like to please others so much. And there right around the corner from the casting studio ‘miss medical emergency’ was sitting having drinks with a group of friends. She looked at me, winked and mimicked a naughty sshhhhhh. The price of being nice hit me like a wet rag in the face.
‘Miss medical emergency’ […] winked and mimicked a naughty sshhhhhh.
Repressed feelings’ affect on your body & mind
Niceness I believe is an ingrained habit and one reason we say yes when we want to say no is that it’s easier to go along with what others want as we so want to be liked. Thus if your niceness is being taken advantage of, it’s natural to feel angry and trust me my blood was boiling. But when you hide feelings of annoyance, they do not magically go away. As medical research has shown in the last few years, there is a strong relationship between mind and body. Repressing feelings like anger can cause headaches, stomach problems, back ache and adversely affect our immune system.
These girls stood their ground
So there I was still sitting in my car feeling a bit lousy at being taken advantage of when I noticed some of the other girls that were in the casting walk past ‘miss medical emergency’. I could not hear what was being said but from where I was parked I could see that she got an ear full and was thoroughly being told off. I admired those girls for standing their ground and learned something in the process.
Many of us waste time trying to be too nice, shying away from competitiveness and backing down when challenged, all guaranteed to leave you at the bottom of the ladder. So how do you stand your ground then?
6 tips on how to stand your ground
Most of our behavior depends on a pre-programmed “memory” and when confronted in certain situations, we react as we have learned from previous experience when confronted with strong willed figures. To break the niceness trap you need to break those patterns. So here are some of my suggestions that I feel might help :
- When asked a favor and you are not certain rather say “can I think about it and get back to you ?“ This gives you space and time to evaluate a reasonable request vs a guilt trip. If you do not want to hold another models dog or baby while she goes ahead of you at a casting, say so politely. How they react and feel is their responsibility. I did not say no and ended up having to cast once with baby puke all over my shoulder and in my hair. Lesson learned!
- When you say no be clear and short, to the point. It does not leave room for a maybe and you feeling obliged.
- Do not smile when you are angry. I am so guilty of this and have learned that it gives off mixed messages, not letting the other party understand that you are not pleased.
- Whatever you do, do not let gripes build up. You will end up exploding and possibly to someone that is not even part of the frustration. Thus get it out of your system, write about it or go do a power yoga class. I go climbing the mountain and this can be done several times in one week but with the benefit of tightening the derrière and releasing the anger.
- Don’t feel you have to say yes. Honesty builds trust.
- Persevere, being honest about your needs grows self-respect and soon that unspoken authority will reside in you like glowing shield of armor not to be taken for granted.
I took one last look at the scene of the models having an altercation with ‘miss medical emergency’ and drove off grinning. Life has a weird way of teaching us lessons in the smallest most ridiculous scenarios. Lion’s Head, I will see you in a few minutes and climb you all the way to the top.
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