How Do You Respond to That?

Looking in the Mirror

How do you respond to certain comments especially when they make you question your worth?

Preparing for my audition for being a Disney character or performing tomorrow has been very stressful. Although excited, I am terrified. After all, the other girls will be thinner, prettier, more talented, and sweeter than me. That keeps repeating in my head.

Hearing the responses of my friends and family to this big event has been both helpful and disheartening.  Most people have given me great encouragement. Others promise to pray or think about me. Even my coworkers warnings about safety or horror stories all come out of a place of being helpful.

Still, I do not want to get my hopes to high. After all, this program will be amazing even if I am not a character. Sure, that is part of my dream, but I will love working attractions too. There is not a loss just because I am not cast as a princess. That is what I keep trying to remember.

Thus, even the encouragement that I am sure to get a part is hard to hear. What if I do not? Being realistic, that might not happen. I am not going to set all my hopes on being a Disney princess.

These comments, although anxiety-producing, still touch my heart. What has been really difficult is when people belittle or squash my hopes. “Oh, it turns out to be a waste of time because not everyone gets a part. Then you are just stuck there cleaning.” Is that a waste of time? Not for me. Even if it would be, that response really trivializes my plans and dreams. Another difficult response was “Oh, you’re not going to have a lot of competition. There will be so many girls there.” This was followed by the person belittling Disney for its stereotypical beauty. Um, not only was this person degrading the company I am thrilled to be working for but also my appearance. I know that is not what she meant, but it still stung. Now, my body image and self-disgust is only heightened.

What do you do with responses like that? How do we react when people pooh-pooh our dreams or happiness? What about when people expect us to succeed at something which might not happen? Knowing how to deal with these comments is a skill that I wish I had. Unfortunately, I often just smile and nod or turn pink with confusion.

People often make comments that are hard to graciously accept or kindly refute. Having the social skills to respond in a loving but self-assured way is something that I lack. However, other people have opened up to me about their struggles in that area as well. Maybe I am not alone in this difficulty. All that I can do is continue trying to learn from my experiences and the advice of others. Perhaps I am still not very good at it currently, but I have made great progress over the years in my ability to communicate in such situations.


6 thoughts on “How Do You Respond to That?

  1. MEM says:

    Your attitude shines and perhaps that will stand out during your audition. I assume that the person/people who pooh-pooh your presence at Disney are ignorant about the program. Just maybe they are secretly jealous. Anyway, HAVE A GREAT TIME! and seize the day!

  2. Sometimes I just end up avoiding negative people. Life is hard enough without having to deal with negative vibes. Good luck with your audition!

  3. I learned that some comments or questions just keep coming back over and over. I always thought of the perfect answer the next day. For my own amusement, I started collecting cute answers for some of the more common questions. When my physical health gives out in a public place and my husband or someone else has to take me home, I tell people I am vertically challenged. It is a challenge to stay vertical. Sometimes I simply ignore what was said. I am learning that your dreams are your dreams. Your challenges are yours too. Someone looking in from the outside will almost always misunderstand, some kindly, others not so much. When I focus on what is important to me, the nay sayers and critics fade from my attention. I was trained to listen to outside critics to decide my value and the value of my dreams. My counselor spent many hours encouraging me to move towards my dreams and to consider the source from negative comments. It still terrifies me from time to time but I am moving in the direction I never believed possible 15 years ago. Remember to some people you are a Disney princess already. You sparkle and smile and work at making a difference to others. I hope you enjoy your experience.

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