On my lunch break today, I stopped by Nordstrom here in San Francisco. Tuesday, around 11 AM. The store was virtually empty, even though the December onslaught would resume later that afternoon. Signs of the forthcoming mélange were everywhere … shoes galore, delicious leather jackets, bags in every color of rainbow. For me, I just needed the “necessities” – socks, hose, colorful tank tops to spice up my black entourage of work clothes.
(Remember black? It says “Don’t touch me!” We wonderful, sexy midlife women need to get out of our mourning clothes and punch it up!).
Ah, retail therapy. Nothing like it! Inhale those retail fumes and exhale stress!
Don’t you just adore meeting other women when you shop? We automatically understand each other. At our best, we do wonders for each other’s egos. “Love your bag!” “Cute shoes.” “Your hair is adorable.” “Where did you find that amazing scarf/jacket/pin/blouse?” “You have the greatest smile”.
Giving Compliments is Easy…
Accepting them is the Problem
The compliments to one another come easily. It’s the response that troubles me. As I listened to my fellow shoppers this morning, not one of them reacted confidently and assertively after a compliment. Every single one of them (5 of 5 – including yours truly) made a disclaimer!
“It’s something we do, this disclaimer thing.”
A disclaimer is a declaration that denounces, repudiates, denies, apologizes, disavows, makes excuses or otherwise negatively responds to a situation or a statement.
At the hosiery counter, it went like this:
Customer (about 60): “I have a date this weekend, and I want some tights that make me look skinny”.
Sales rep: “The ones you have on look terrific.”
Customer: “These? I’ve had them forever. They’re so dated, and I’ve never really liked them. Besides, they make me look fat.”
What’s with that? What happened to this: “Thank you. If you have some as great as the old troopers, I’d love to see them.”
This disclaimer thing, it’s time to let it go.
Midlife Women: Honor Yourself to Radiate Confidence and Beauty
We are vivacious, smart, successful, magnificent midlife women. Why do we apologize? I asked myself the same thing when the guy who sold me the tank tops complimented me: “I love that scarf!” My reply. “Thank you. (so far, so good). I wear it all the time, but it’s starting to get old, and falling apart.” Really, Kat? Honestly, a simple “Thank you” would have sufficed.
The beauty that we bring to the world, and ourselves, begins with a deep conviction of our own worth. That starts with stopping the disclaimers. The best way to stop it is to stop. Listen to yourself. Pay attention to how other women minimize themselves with disclaimers.
I’m well aware that the holidays are filled with artificiality. There will be compliments galore. Some of them in earnest. Some of them not so heartfelt. Ours is not to question the motivation. Ours is to rise to our highest self, take a deep breath, put our shoulders back, exhale our insecurities and say, “Thank you.”
Say Thank-You and Feel the Glow
I like to think of us as “incandescent” (electrifying, brilliant, dynamic) It’s almost impossible to shine brightly when we snuff out the flame before it’s allowed to glow!
No more disclaimers!
Something else: The holidays can bring the sassiest and strongest of us to our knees – especially when we feel pressure to be “on” or “happy” or “bouncy”. Are you getting the holiday “downer” rush?
Loneliness, sadness, insecurities – all as much a part of this season as the elation at seeing a long lost relative. If you need some listening, coaching, hand holding and a little bit of TLC to support you through it, give yourself the gift of my private Mentoring program. Don’t do it alone. I’m here for you. Give me a shout on e-mail and we can talk. Confidential sessions to help you are waiting just for you.
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