Weighty Matters

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Correcting Self-Judgments

on June 1, 2013

I went shopping for a car today.  I’ve been planning this for awhile and decided to take advantage of a business trip to make arrangements at a particular dealership.  Car shopping is not my favorite activity.  I hate the sales tactics, the pressure, the whole “If you’re ready to make a deal today I can discuss this with my manager” ploy, etc.  Even though I’m nobody’s fool and I know how to prepare for negotiations, in the past I’ve always felt like I was at a disadvantage or, at the very least, I was intimidated.  I’m sure that I actually put myself at that disadvantage by deciding that the staff at the dealerships judged me by my appearance and figured they could walk all over me.

On the drive out of the Keys, I thought about this a lot.  Car buying situations are just one more example of how I let my excess weight undermine me.  Believe me, I’m sure there are dozens of other circumstances I could think of if I put my mind to it.  It’s like my intelligence, confidence, professional experience and other strengths didn’t matter.  Because I was super obese, inside I felt “less than”.  My friends, that is a sucky feeling, to always let physical size or condition erode influence our spirits, confidence and self-esteem.

I don’t know if, at the time, I was even conscious that this was my mind set and emotional state.  If I was, I certainly didn’t articulate it then, but it would have been a tough thing to admit. 

It was a lot different for me today.  I had a strategy and approach in my head, which is how I used to deal with car buying in the past.  I plan to upgrade to more of a luxury car.  Pre-owned, but still a level up from what I’ve purchased in the past, so I expected the experience to be somewhat different too. 

From the beginning I was significantly more relaxed.  I didn’t have any sense of wanting to shrink inside my physical self when I entered the very elegant showroom.  Instead, I was at ease, personable, and in control.  I sailed with this all through the examination of the car under consideration, the test drive, and the return to the dealership.  I set the pace for studying the car’s history, its features, and all of the other data that the sales consultant produced without letting him rush me. I let him show me the number, explained my terms and very confidently asked him to let me know how much negotiation room he had.

Through it all, I was treated with respect.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t reach a price that was acceptable to both of us.  No harm, no foul.  Their bottom line was out of my budget.   I thanked him for his time and asked him to keep me in mind if a similar, but little bit less expensive car comes available, and drove off with a smile.  Sure I was a little disappointed — I really like that car! — but not disheartened.   I’m proud of myself for handling the experience with solid confidence and style.   

At the same time, I’m a little sad for the woman I was before.  I won’t tear myself up with the “shoulda coulda woulda” and think too long about how other people could only make me feel inferior with my consent.  However, I wish I could give encouragement to anyone who still experiences those kinds of circumstances.  We already know that, yes, there are other people who judge us because of our weight or other physical things.  We need to learn not to do it to ourselves.

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2 responses to “Correcting Self-Judgments

  1. robena grant says:

    My hat is off to you. I end up buying the car even if the payment wasn’t exactly what I’d hoped for. My son says they see me coming and that I’m a salesperson’s dream. He’s made me aware, and in recent years I’ve become less of a patsy. But still…you walked away. Kudos, and I’ll bet he calls you.

  2. Skye says:

    Wow! I’m so proud of how you handled the car shopping experience! Shopping for a car always makes me feel like I’m a naive fool in the big city for the first time. It sounds like you really rocked that whole thing. And took yet another step in learning more about yourself and in changing how you view yourself. Good for you. I hope you find just the right car for just the right price very soon.

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