Using my voice: insurance.

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Using my voice: insurance.

Postby oak » February 4th, 2014, 12:27 pm

I am taking steps, however humble, to use my voice.
To advocate for my needs and desires.
To decide the level of respect I desire, as decided by me.
To communicate that treatment below that standard of respect desired will make me end the conversation.

Example:

I desire to have health insurance.

A friend referred me to an insurance agent.

I called said agent. I expressed my interest in purchasing health insurance.

The agent's tone was, in my estimation, angry. Further, the agent wanted to meet at their home office, rather than their regular office, but it was "much more convenient" for the agent to meet at their home, which creeped me out. Why have an office if one can't/won't conduct business there? Sadly, what is convenient for the agent means nothing to me, since I am the ostensible customer.

I had hoped the agent would be:

positive
action focused
moved our conversation toward my stated goal

Unfortunately, none of those things happened.

(At 37 I can recognize a condescending, negative tone of voice.)

I briefly and politely explained that I did not see this transaction as a good fit, and thanked her for her time. Annoyed, she offered to send me a quote, which I accepted. Justifying her demeanor with "explanations" I briefly listened before politely but clearly ending the call.

I Feel Statements

I feel relieved that I took an action in addressing a need that is important to me.

I feel sad that my expectation of customer service was not met by the agent.

I feel tired from the effort.

Next steps

While typing this post, I opened a new Google Chrome window and applied for short term insurance.

This demonstrates that I was willing to pay for health insurance. I just don't want a hassle or condescension.

Also, today I used my voice to invite out a pretty barista, and she politely declined. Sigh.

Sometimes it is painful for me to try to use my voice to advocate for myself.

I feel better, but also emotionally exhausted.

Thanks for listening.
"Work is love made visible." -Kahlil Gibran

"We gotta make a decision: leave tonight or live and die this way." -Tracy Chapman
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Re: Using my voice: insurance.

Postby Arkay » February 15th, 2014, 1:44 pm

I can relate to the experience of feeling exhausted by everyday actions/chores/errands/interactions. This happens to me a lot - at least once a week. For me, it is sometimes so daunting to even take the steps to do what needs to be done (buy insurance, look for a new car, or even book a massage appointment), when it doesn't go the way I wanted, it will send me into a spiral of self-blame and overwhelm. I think using the "I Feel" statements that you did in this post is a good approach to separate the feelings I have about something and the true facts about that thing. I am going to use this as an exercise for myself the next time I feel that anxiety.
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Re: Using my voice: insurance.

Postby Jitters » February 23rd, 2014, 2:29 pm

I've recently realized how great it can feel to stand up for oneself in a non aggressive way. Without being aware I'm learning I'm a huge pleaser. The release of telling someone no and have everything be okay is amazing. To know that your feelings are just as valid as anyone elses. I totally relate to being overwhelmed sometimes by everyday chores and filled with anxiety by having to interact with strangers. Keep it up and good luck on the insurance!
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Re: Using my voice: insurance.

Postby Brooke » November 1st, 2014, 1:30 pm

I understand how you are feeling. I also have trouble doing tasks where I need to speak to people in a "business" type of a way. I get extremely exhausted emotionally as well. I've recently realized that I've killed my voice many years ago because of "social expectations on women." And alas, my depression began... I'm trying to find that voice again, because killing it took away my self-esteem. I became insecure and thought I wasn't deserving of respect. It was a big mistake... I'm starting to be more assertive when I'm having to do my tasks where I have to communicate with others in a business way. I don't mean work, but things like doctors, dentists, car mechanics, etc. I know I'm "faking it" as of now, but I know that in time I will become more comfortable with it. I'm totally in the battle-mode, so I do get tired emotionally afterwards, but also proud of myself. It's not the draining feeling of being beat down and acquiescing (which I hate). They might think I'm being a little "bitchy," but in my mind, I know that I'm the customer who is paying them, so when I get insecure, I tell myself that the insecurity is coming from depression and it's not who I am. Years back, I do recall subconsciously "giving up the fight" with society. Women who are assertive, confident and is comfortable with righteous confrontation are thought of as a bitch. And I guess the "good girl" in me wanted to go along with society's expectation so I would fit in and be liked. BIG MISTAKE. People-pleasing is a never-ending trap that just sucks the life out of you. I would rather be a bitch who is proud of herself than be liked by others who feels empty and insecure on the inside.
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