No Trophy For Showing Up: Find Pressure Points That Will Help You Change
Fighting bullies has been the cause celebre for the last 2 years. Now, here's a story of a young Oxford University student, Louisa Manning, who "stood up to her bully" by inviting him on a date to dinner and then having the server deliver a hand-written letter to "get back at him" (she didn't show, intentionally).
Hey, so sorry I can’t join you tonight. Remember year 8, when I was fat and you made fun of my weight? No? I do – I spent the following three years eating less than an apple a day. So I’ve decided to skip dinner...
The bully accused her of:
- Being fat.
- Being ugly.
- Having a monobrow.
- Being manly (the bully called her a "manbeast").
Miss Manning turned herself around and now she is:
Here's The Irony
Miss Manning was not attractive in her "Before" mode. Everything the bully said was right. What's not right is the bullying part of it. Bullying is never OK.
But look at it: she corrected everything about herself that he accused her of.
He said she had a monobrow. So she depilated her eyebrows.
He said she was fat. So she slimmed down.
If this truly were a balls-out, courageous move, she'd have punked him at the restaurant and remained happily chubby and single-browed.
Pressure Is The Point
Total affirmation will not provoke change. It's only under pressure that we begin to examine ourselves and consider change. Bullying-level pressure? No, not good.
And this applies to both men and women:
- Guys, next time you have to unbutton your jeans at dinner because your gut is too huge--that's called pressure.
- Women, next time a guy rears his head back because of your foul breath, that's pressure.
- Guys, next time you find yourself in bed unable to get it up--for the 37th time in a row--it's time to address your ED. That's pressure.
It's not pretty. In this age of total affirmation--this post-"I'm OK, You're OK" age--where everybody is fine and where everyone gets a trophy just for showing up, competition is considered evil.
But guess what? It's not competition between you and someone else. It's competition between you and yourself.