A few weeks ago I published an article re: how I was berated at work, and how lies were readily believed about me, even when I had evidence to disprove all. I told my readers how I stood up for myself and, even if the person I was addressing wasn’t paying attention to the words coming out of my mouth, I was proud of myself that I did not take the lies and criticism lying down and humbly walk out of the office with my tail between my legs, apologizing for “my behavior.” I told my readers to always stand up for themselves and never let anyone – especially not someone you are dating – make you feel bad about yourself or put you down. Well, the emails came pouring in. I’d like to share parts of some of them with you, in some cases large parts of the emails. It doesn’t matter the situation; all these people felt that they stood up for themselves.
Part of an email from a young woman: “We had been dating for almost six weeks when we met a married couple on the street, which turned out to be one of his good friends. I didn’t expect him to introduce me as his girlfriend or anything like that, but something would have been nice, even, ‘This is Chaya.’ I’m sure the couple was able to figure out that we were on a date. But he didn’t introduce me or anything. Strange thing is that his friend and wife didn’t say, Hi, I’m so-and-so,’ which would give me a chance to introduce myself. I guess they felt awkward and took their lead from my date who acted as if I wasn’t there. When we were in the car, I asked him why he didn’t introduce me – just give my name – because they could plainly see we were on a date. He said it wasn’t a big deal and he didn’t mean anything by it. But yeah, his friends knew it was a date so they didn’t want to make it weird for any of us. What? I told him it made me feel weird and left out as if I wasn’t there, because no one acknowledged my existence and it wasn’t as if it was a first or second date. We had dropped the shadchan, and it was almost six weeks. He said he isn’t used to introducing dates to friends and doesn’t. I said I understood that, but we were standing face to face, and he had a conversation with them, and I was standing there (like a fool). Long story short, I didn’t like the way he just pretended I wasn’t there just because we weren’t ‘officially a couple.’ That’s what he said: ‘officially a couple.’ Uhhh, we were dating for a while, I wasn’t seeing anyone else, I don’t think he was. To me, yeah, we are a couple. I can’t be with someone who plays the game like that or would treat another person like that. I stood up for myself and told him to call me when he matures, because what happened was rude – plain and simple. It has nothing to do with dating rules; it was rude.”
I wonder what happened: if the fellow realized what he did, apologized, and they went out again, or if he is still looking for a clue.
From a young man who doesn’t seem to have much self-confidence: “…She was way out of my league. I couldn’t believe that she agreed to date me, let alone go on a second and third date with me. I watched everything I said, made sure I didn’t slouch because I sometimes do. I was very careful to be ‘that guy.’ But it was hard pretending after a while, and by the fourth date I decided to be myself. I made a corny joke, I probably slouched. I just wanted to be me, because I wasn’t having fun pretending to be ‘that guy.’ I wanted to be who I was because I think I’m fine with how I am. Forget that the shadchanim told me to “act mature and be interesting.” I am who I am. And you know, she agreed to another few dates with me. Eventually we broke up, but it wasn’t because I pretended to be who I’m not, or her not liking who I really am. It just didn’t work out. But I feel like I stood up for the real me and I wasn’t embarrassed to show her who I really am and what I’m really like.”
Good for you!! It’s important to like yourself or know your best qualities when going out in the dating world. If you aren’t proud and sure of yourself, why would anyone else be?
The following story is more like mine because it happened in the workplace. “I’ve been working here close to five years. Management recently decided to mix things up and bring us into the ‘modern world’ of teamwork, strategizing instead of working independently. I would readily participate in the team meetings but noticed that the team wasn’t getting the recognition from our managers that I knew most of us deserved. I am a hard worker; I come early, leave late. I had already received one promotion since working for the company and was ‘promised’ more ‘great things’ would be coming for me if I kept up the good work. So, I kept up the good work. When speaking with a friend, he said it was obvious that someone was sabotaging the group, taking the ideas that we were all contributing and claiming them as his or her own. He said it had to be what was happening, if not one of us was being acknowledged for our work (which is why I hate team work). I told him that this wasn’t a soap opera and my co-workers weren’t like that. But it got me thinking. I didn’t participate so much for the next few team strategizing meetings, and then arranged it to accidently run into one of my managers. A simple hello led from one thing to another and I put forth an idea that ‘I just thought of.’ I invited her to one of our brainstorming strategizing sessions. She accepted and said that one of my team members had been taking credit for all of the team ideas and strategies, not so much as claiming all ideas were his, but not giving credit where it was due. My supervisor isn’t a dummy, and she knew something fishy was going on, because there are some really smart and forward-thinking members on the team, yet the team presenter never mentioned anyone in particular when presenting our ideas and plans. He let the supervisor believe that he was the team leader (far from the truth). I was angry, but only said that we were an ‘amazing team,’ and she really needed to see us ‘in action,’ coming up with ideas and feeding off each other. She knew what I meant. My supervisor said she would be at the next meeting! I didn’t say anything to anyone on my team, leading up to the next meeting – except that when we were all assembled in one of the conference rooms, I let it slip that I invited our manager to the meeting so she could hear all of us contributing to the project, instead of relying on just one person to represent us all. I looked straight at my sneaky co-worker who had an expression on his face as if ‘the jig is up.’ He knew that I knew the jig was indeed up. I didn’t so much confront him and tell him that I knew he had been letting our manager believe that he was the team leader and most of the ideas were from him, but he got the message loud and clear. I had a smile on my face for the rest of the day.”
Good for her. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at that meeting to watch her co-worker squirm and try to impress the boss when everyone else was actually coming up with the wonderful plans and strategies, or whatever it is that she actually does – I’m still unsure about that. I think it’s in marketing, but I could be wrong.
Hatzlachah to you all!