“Trust Me…I Know Best”


She thought she was doing a good thing. She felt she was helping me out.

“Michelle, I like you.” (We’d only met an hour before.) “I want to add some color to the front of your hair. Trust me. It will be beautiful. I’ll make you look like a movie star.” (We had discussed another color before making the final decision.) “I won’t charge you any extra for the color…trust me…you’ll be beautiful!”

I did.
I trusted her.

She was a sweetheart and we were sharing easily with one another. She knew what I wanted and what I didn’t. We had discussed it fully before starting.

When the towel came away from my newly colored, soaking wet hair, I could tell something wasn’t right. The deepness of the color was closer to a purple than an orange. But she wanted to surprise me and didn’t want me to look until she had completely finished. As she cut and styled, I prayed, “God, how did she get the color so wrong?!?!  Didn’t she see the plugs I pulled to show her exactly what I wanted?  I never touched those deeper reds!!  Oh Lord, I know it’s just hair, please, help me be graceful!”

Phat sat in the chair opposite with frequent comments:
“You’re gonna like it.”
“It looks really nice, Michelle.”

The final spritz.  “Just some sparkle to make you shine!” 
Then…the reveal.
She was all smiles, knowing full well I would love it.

Well, you already know what happened…

Shock.  Disappointment.  Frustration.  Anger.  But…

…resignation…maybe even some appreciation…for the effort and the thought.

Yeah, weird, huh?  I appreciated her attention and care.  Her desire to do something “nice” for me.  I was thankful for the love she was trying to express through the action…but…

It was an action I didn’t want.
It was a color I would have never chosen.
It was a style I couldn’t pull off.  (Glamour and Michelle just don’t go together!!)

I did thank her.  Actually, we hugged, that’s how much we enjoyed one another’s company.  I gave her a large tip for the time and effort spent…four hours!  But…deep inside…I began to wonder why I couldn’t really let her know how I felt.  Somehow, in my mind, it was wrong to let her know her controlling, audacious act had overstepped my boundaries.  I was an object for her to show off her amazing talents.  I was a glamour girl for her to uncover.  And as lovely as it was…it wasn’t anything close to what I had asked for.  It wasn’t me.

Then…I remembered my daughter…a few days before.

“But, Mags, it will look so lovely.  Just a little bit of make-up.  You’ll be surprised the difference it will make.  Just let me show you.  You’ll love it…trust me.”  I didn’t understand why she acted as though I had violated her.  It was just make-up!  She could wash it off if she didn’t like it…

I was pushy.
I knew better than her.
I was controlling and forceful, but in a “nice” way…

(She should appreciate what I’m doing for her and understand how much better I am at choosing…)

“Trust me, honey.”


Stepping on people. 

It’s never pretty. 

Even when we think we know better…


8 responses »

  1. Whew…. That’s one heck of a story.

    I recently had a long long long conversation with my husband about his scheduling decisions. He sometimes asks me what I think about certain commitments he’s considering making. I tell him if I think it’s a good idea or not. Then, he tells me whether he agrees. If it’s something he REALLY wants to do, it becomes a big discussion. But, most times, I try to say: “It’s your life – your time – your decision.” I really haven’t wanted to force him to do something. I really didn’t want to violate his will by being controlling or pushy.

  2. Oh, Mandy…that’s not even the whole story! The “fix” was quite upsetting as well, but, at least now I can live with the color. Much closer to my natural tone.

    Not controlling others…but some of us come by it so naturally. 😯
    I hope I learned my lesson…

  3. Michelle I have hurt more people than I can remember by not showing the sensitivity that you have.

    Blunt, honest, insensitive and hurtful. I have never quite learned the right balance.

    My dialogue with my Christian friends, like you, has helped me become more sensitive, but I think I still fail more often than I succeed.

  4. I hate it when the lesson is turned around on me… okay, well hate may be overstating it a bit, but I don’t much like it.

    So I’m guessing this look won’t be your new avatar here on wordpress. Sorry ’bout your hair. Us men have it so easy in that dept.

  5. One and a half word: co-dependency!

    At least that is what stops me from telling people if and when they are overstepping boundaries or when they have done something to hurt my feelings or when I simply don’t feel like doing what they want me to do.

    CR has helped a lot with that but I find I’m still co-dependent in so many ways. The more I learn about co-dependency the more I discover how co-dependent I am. Not a pretty realization that’s for sure.

    My husband asks me for my opinion a lot. I appreciate that but at times it confuses me. Sometimes I wish he would just make the decision because when I give my honest opinion and he decides to go with it and it doesn’t work out I end up feeling guilty (even though ultimately the decision was his) and if I don’t give my opinion and he does what he was going to do and it doesn’t work out I end up feeling guilty. I am thankful he doesn’t ever hold my opinion against me even when things don’t quite work out but how very co-dependent of me to always feel responsible for the decisions he makes because of having an opinion! Man so much to work through.

    You have a huge, loving heart and I know that even though it may not have been the healthiest (most beneficial?) thing to do I know your grace and appreciation blessed her more than you know.

    I love you!

  6. Good morning, Ed. I really wish I could speak my honest feelings with tenderness. I don’t trust myself to speak at times, so I remain silent, which gives an impression of false compliance. It’s probably best to just be blunt…this “southern hospitality” can be quite fake, at times. 😯

    No, Ric! A new avatar will not be coming anytime soon. It will take at least a year for all of the color to grow out. And yeah, the lesson was learned loud and clear! 😳

    I HATE that word, Gch!!! But yes, I do see my tendencies toward it. 😳 My desire to not hurt others has caused me to take the ‘doormat’ approach (with some people) for a while now. Sometimes, it’s not a problem to share my opinion, but I hope I’m learning that unsolicited advice is hardly ever appreciated. To stand up for myself…well…I’m not really sure how to do that well. My feelings of “not good enough” usually trump any feelings of injustice. When we live in shame we either choose to condemn others, in an attempt to not feel the shame, or we condemn ourselves, feeling we deserve the condemnation. I’ve been the latter. Now that the shame is lessening, I’m beginning to see the co-dependent ways in which I’ve adapted…sigh…

  7. Well praise God for progress! It’s all about celebrating small victories, right?

    And I agree with Brotha Ric. It’s a not-so-nice feeling when something happens to us and God reminds us that we did the same thing to someone else. Whaddayaknow the whole reaping and sowing concept is true!


  8. Amen, Gch! We need to celebrate the small victories…the Divine whisperings…in our lives.

    You and yours are lovely.


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