My daughter and I were just in San Francisco. I love San Francisco. We were headed to the airport, which always makes me a little sad, and we stopped for lunch at one of our favorite pizza restaurants, Delfina’s. It’s fabulous. It’s also teeny tiny. As we were being seated, my daughter headed toward the bench seat, which left me with the chair facing the wall. Here is the important part – I felt a little twinge inside, and then I told myself, “Oh well, I should let her have the good seat, ” and I sat down. I had a couple of micro conversations with myself about how it was nice to let her have the better spot and how I was just fine where I was, etc…Then I settled in to enjoy our lunch.
About half way through our meal, my daughter made me proud, she spoke up! Where I hadn’t. She said, “Mommy, do you think we could switch seats?” Somewhat astounded, I said, “What? You want to sit here?”(Internal dialogue – “Here? In the bad seat?”) “Yes” she said, ” I’m not comfortable here, the table is too far away and the bench is too low.” I happily switched seats.
A couple of big points: It’s better to speak up. Does that mean you have to discuss every little thing, all the time? No. It means you’ve got to trust the little twinges. When you feel that internal twinge, it’s time to speak up. That little feeling is a signal that something is going on that you aren’t happy about, so pay attention, speak up and take action. Don’t just ignore it, or talk yourself out of it. Also, there is no universal “good” or “bad” seat. There are just preferences, likes and dislikes. And, last, but certainly not least, we are different. All of us. We like and want different things. We live in the world very differently, and how we experience the world is not the same. So, honor what you prefer, respect the preferences of others and speak up.