Today, one of them shared that he had gone to purchase some Teavana tea for his girlfriend's birthday. The person at the counter suggested that he make up a special blend, so he chose a couple of teas to put together for her. By the time this exercise was completed, a decent-sized line had formed behind the radio jock, and all he wanted to do was to pay and get out of the way.
To his surprise, the tea came out to a whopping $70.00. He really didn't want to pay that much, but by now, the line was long and the person had already mixed up this special blend of teas that the radio guy had chosen. He ended up buying the tea, even though he couldn't afford it. Afterward, he consoled himself with thoughts like, "Well, it's my girlfriend's birthday. She's certainly worth seventy dollars!" and "It's not that big a deal. It's only money."
Interestingly enough, the other boys in the studio were right there with him. They all discussed how they've felt that pressure to buy something that they couldn't afford at one time or another. It was fascinating to hear them all talk about how they would get to the counter, hear or see the price come up and feel that sense of blood draining from their faces and their stomachs beginning to feel sick. Yet, they all said that they paid for the items anyway. Several of them said that they would send food back if it wasn't cooked properly at a restaurant, but they all said they had paid at the register.
I've done that myself. I didn't expect to pay that much for something, or the price wasn't made clear, but at the register, I've paid it; then tried to console myself with very much the same excuses and platitudes that the radio jock did.
What really caught my attention was how they all agreed that they do it. None of them wanted to look like a cheapskate. None of them wanted to admit, "I'm too poor to buy this." None of them wanted to be the guy that stood up and said, "Whoa, there barista-person. This costs more than your weekly paycheck! I am not paying that much money for a couple of ounces of tea." And, none of them wanted to be the one to hold the line up any further. It was all about what these strangers, whom they admitted they'd probably never see again in their lives, would think of them. That's kind of profound, immature rock-jocks. I'm a little nonplussed at your ability to go deep. Moreover, you've given me something to consider today.
Why DO we pay for something like that? Why do we allow ourselves to be bullied by our own perceptions of what someone else may or may not be thinking about us, particularly when none of them pays our bills, cares for us in any way, nor even knows our first names? In all likelihood, we'll never see them again. This smacks of Mulengro to me. It goes to expectation and assumption.
In keeping with my Year of Being Dauntless, I'm going to have to add this to my list of things I must no longer do. Thanks radio guys. Maybe I'll tune in again, sometime.
How about you? Do you relate to these guys? How have you taken steps to overcome the self-talk that assumes the perceptions of others and relegates that to importance? I'd love to read your tips!