Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fighting Intimidation

Yesterday was my son’s birthday, and I tell ya, it took a lot of courage to decide that all we were going to get was a cake. Just that. One saving grace was that he is just two years old, so I didn’t get the possible attack; “Mommy, everyone who had a birthday also gave gift packs with their cake. Won’t you even give them something to drink?” He and his friends posed docilely for their pictures with the cake, then ran off to play and left all other concerns to Momma and Company.

Toyin Ohio Alegbe
I’m glad he doesn’t yet care about those things, because my mind was already crucifying me adequately for not doing what all the other parents usually do during birthdays, and that reminded me of my last tv show. No, it wasn’t my show, I was a guest on Toyin Ohio Alegbe’s talk show ‘Ladies Love Gisting’ (LLG), and the topic was Overcoming Intimidation.


I mean, that’s an uncommon word, yeah? I mean, how many times a year do you hear this word used in a sentence? Not often. However, it is something that happens every day to everyone.

We did do a lot of ‘gisting’ on the issue, but here’s the sum total of our talk:
·         Intimidation can be external (from someone else) or internal (you attacking yourself)
·         Intimidation is either intentional, or it isn’t
·         For all your complaints that someone is intimidating you, you may very well be intimidating someone else too.

But nothing beats this point:
·         Intimidation will never work unless you allow it to.

Me- on the LLG set
The cure to being intimidated is never allowing it to get a hold on you. You have to develop positive self-protective measures that guard you from being intimidated by what your friends and contemporaries have that you don’t. And while doing so you have to watch against being catty or spiteful or falling into the trap of having to intimidate someone else just to prove to yourself that you are as good as the person you are intimidated by.

So when I made up my mind three days to the birthday, to just make a child-friendly cake, and suddenly go sugar-free and healthy with water, I did it with confidence, because men, there’s no advice so useless as the one you give others but never use.  I saved myself time, stress and money. And at the end of the day, in these wee hours typing this post, I see that everyone has gone to bed, and a birthday has come and gone. Today’s worries fade to yesterday’s notes. And the new day dawns with new decisions and expenses.

When we wake up, who’ll come and ask me why I served only cake on my baby’s birthday?  You? Please, get real, that is so yesterday! And before I forget, happy birthday in arrears, my darling Rhema.


Joy Ehonwa said...

Awww, this is so inspiring. I've always been one to identify my priorities and cut my coat according to my cloth, but I must admit it takes new courage each time. And I commend you cos there's a child involved and raising kids comes with its own kind of competition and intimidation. You're on the right track dear. Who will come and ask you? That's so yesterday indeed! :-)

Anonymous said...

At least he got cake on his second birthday, dats good enough. D memories of his first birthday is still very fresh in my head and I had a nice time too.

Pamela Cho Okoro- Agboga said...

Thanks for this vote of confidence! There are so many things that intimidate us into doing things we regret afterwards. It isn't easy to not follow the crowd and maintain the status quo, but it works out for the best too many times to be ignored.

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