The "SAY NO" Challenge! Week 1: Say No to Folks Who Mistreat You!
“SAY NO CHALLENGE” WEEK 1
SAY “NO” TO FOLKS WHO MISTREAT YOU!
Over the weekend, I worked with a commercial director known for having a short temper and either sending crewmembers home or to the bathroom crying. In an interview he told a reporter “I’m an irritator and an agitator-I have no charm. I use fear and intimidation, it works for the Catholic Church and it works for me.” And let me tell you, on his sets, the stench of fear will burn your nose hairs.
The morning of the job, I walk onto set and am immediately pulled aside by five different individuals, all at different times, each giving me advice on how to stay “alive” on this job. “Don’t say anything to him, don’t look at him, everything you would normally do on a job, don’t do. Just be quiet!” They were all over-qualified to tell me how to survive because they had been working with him for years and had been his target many times. “Hang in there. It will be worth it, he’s a genius.”
I calmly and confidently approached the towering figure. “Hi, I’m Joy, you’re Script Supervisor for today” and extended my hand. “No you’re not,” he replied. Confused and in shock, I asked “Soooo, go home?” Sternly and as if setting the tone early, “No.” Then he walked away. Moments later I hear him yell “Script girl” and I turn to see everyone around him cringing in fear for what I was about to experience.
Several things went through my head at that moment; the first thought was “I WISH HE WOULD CURSE AT ME!” The next thought “Did he just call me Script girl?” And finally “Joy, how do you want to feel when you walk away from this job at the end of the night?” I chose to focus on the latter. I wanted to leave the job with my head held just as high as when I walked in that morning.
That day, my heart went ached for all the individuals who have an abusive, manipulating, criticizing GIANT at the workplace or in their homes. This job would be temporary, but this is someone else’s nightmare daily.
I made a pretty penny that day, but the lessons I learned on the job were far more valuable than the money made.
1) KNOW YOUR WORTH
Whether you work on a film set, in an office, on a factory assembly line, or are a stay at home mom or dad--- what you are doing, doesn’t DEFINE you. That’s your occupation, it’s WHAT YOU DO, not WHO YOU ARE.
Take a moment and fill in the blank.
I am __________________.
If you need a little help, here are a few.
I am creative
I am talented
I am skilled
I am beautiful
I am smart
I am important
I am worthy of respect
I am valuable
I am unique
Now let’s act like it. Stop giving your time, energy, and adoration to people who do not appreciate you or don’t reciprocate your generosity, kindness, and respect. You’ve got to believe in you and what you’re worth. Be the President of your own fan club and when you do, other people will catch on and become members too.
2) BE READY TO SPEAK UP
In the case of this “genius” I’m baffled as to why anyone in the industry continues to work with him, but more disturbed that in all these years, no one has stood up to him and spoken up for themselves and their worth.
Ultimately, you teach people how to treat you. You’re either teaching them how to treat you with respect or you’re not. There’s no “kind of” or “middle ground.” That means you are partly responsible in some way if you are being mistreated. For example, if someone you know is a yeller, screamer, and implores manipulative tactics and you give in and let them have their way, what are you saying about your worth? How are you rewarding them for their unacceptable behavior? And how long will you let this mistreatment continue?
It’s never too soon or too late to define or redefine the terms of a relationship, whether personal or work-related. It does however require that you speak up and be consistent with your actions. Just like anything we learn to do well, it takes practice. Therefore, practice speaking up on your behalf, be your own advocate.