Last week, just a short time after publishing my blog post on Impostor Syndrome, I received a comment that read something to the effect of, “Cool it with the narcissism.”
Had the comment come from anyone other than someone who knows me, I wouldn’t have been shocked. After decades of chronicling my life online, I’ve come to expect a few trolls here and there. But, like I said, this was from someone I knew - someone who has long been an advocate and cheerleader.
I reached out to her right away to ask for an explanation - not as a matter of provoking an argument, but because I was genuinely confused… Had my sarcasm gone too far? Had she taken exception to my declaration of having a really fucking fabulous hair color (because it is)? Or did she genuinely think that the act of claiming confidence in one’s abilities and strengths was narcissistic?
If my sarcasm or fabulous hair color offended her… well, that was a matter of preference and, ultimately, no big deal. But the last? I felt it really important to step up and defend my position that we - particularly women - should be able to claim confidence in our greatness without shame.
In the end we had a very civil, adult conversation where she admitted to having had an off night and being in a funky frame of mind when reading/commenting. She apologized and asked me to remove the comment.
And I get it - we’ve all been there. We’ve all done something in the heat of the moment that didn’t necessarily align with our best, true selves. Many of us, however, go down the rabbit hole by insisting on defending our missteps rather than admitting that we are humans who, at times, make mistakes. But not her - she stepped up like a fucking rock star and owned her humanness.
I am so grateful for this experience. Both for the lesson she taught me in her response and for the opportunity the universe offered up to defend my beliefs. In a lifetime past this interaction would have gone in a very different direction. I would have either unfriended her immediately and badmouthed her to every mutual friend we had or I would have not confronted it at all and let the animosity fester.
But not this time… this time I got it right and acted like one of those adults I read all about. And, you guys, come to find out this adulting thing doesn’t always suck. I mean, the paying bills and having to wear pants thing all the time? That sucks. But this having conversations instead of not having conversations that need to be had thing? It’s as damn near spectacular as my hair color.