I was (belatedly) catching up on replying to comments (I always read them right away but sometimes it takes me a while to reply) when I came across a comment by Alterations Needed who said “how dare any one of us think we know who is healthy or attractive.” The comment reminded me of one of my favorite phrases.
I have a friend who is a financial planner. He once told me about how, when he attends business networking events, he will introduce himself to someone and say what he does and they will immediately cut him off and say “I already have a financial planner”. So he started answering them by saying “How dare you assume that I would want you to be my client.”. Harsh? Maybe. Effective. Abso-freaking-lutely.
I love the phrase how dare you. It’s not good for all occasions, but I think that when people say something so heinous that it should be a crime, ‘how dare you’ comes into play.
True life example:
Random person: “Well, obviously at your weight if you don’t have health problems, you will.”
Me: “How dare you make assumptions about my health?”
Random person: “Oh…I…well,I mean, I just meant…I was out of line, I’m sorry.”
There are lots of good reasons to say it out loud:
- It keeps me in control. I’ve found that if someone says something grossly inappropriate and I am caught off-guard, getting emotional (crying, screaming etc. ) just ends up making me look like the “overemotional fat girl” and that doesn’t get me any traction at all.
- I think that it has a connotation of “stop and think about what you just did”. In my experience using “how dare you”, it will very often stop people in their tracks. It can be a game-changer when used correctly with the right audience.
- It is not over-used, so people aren’t ready for it and, in my experience they are not likely to snap back with something. Even if they are going to continue with their line of conversation, they typically have to think about it.
- If I say “What you said is completely out of line” people often come back with an “It’s a free country”- esque response. While that’s true, my argument is not against free speech, but rather for treating people with respect “How dare you” really says “What you said is completely out of line with what constitutes basic human respect”.
Even if I don’t say it out loud, just saying it in my head can really help. It reminds me that, just like my last break-up, it’s not me – it’s them. I deserve to be treated with respect by everyone I meet in every situation. So do you. That doesn’t mean that everyone will always treat us as we deserve, and that’s not important since we can’t control other people’s behavior. What is important to me is that I remember that if I’m not treated well, that’s someone else behaving badly – it’s not about my personal worth or self-esteem.
What about you – what phrases make you feel empowered?