I obsessed with Queer Eye.
Have you watched it?
The premise is that five gay guys (the Fab 5) make over the life of someone who is in desperate need of a change. There’s a guy who focuses on transforming the person’s fashion, one who focuses on design (making over the person’s living space), grooming, culture and food.
What I love most about the series is seeing masters of connection in action.
The guys will connect with someone who’s socially awkward, lacking confidence, wearing the most outrageously unflattering clothes … in other words, people we tend to ignore, make fun of, or avoid in real life.
They will just LOVE on this person. “You are so gorg!” (Gorg, n., short for gorgeous, and the Fab 5’s preferred term of praise)
They get into this person’s BUSINESS. “You are not a failure.”
They will get into this person’s SPACE. “We hug! I’m going to hug you!”
And here’s what you realize:
We are all the same. We are all starving for love and acceptance.
So, I promised last week that I would offer part 2 of my series on the energy of buying & selling, and here it is.
Connect with your people. See them. Love them.
That’s all we really want.
And I promised a story. Last week I had a photo shoot. (Wanna see some of the final photos?! Check out my new & improved website.)
I decided to spring for professional makeup for the shoot.
This might sound like a no-brainer to you, but I didn’t even have my makeup professionally done for my wedding. So this was a big deal.
I was pretty nervous – but also excited. This was a big step for me, and I was committed to showing up and being seen.
I showed up at the makeup artist’s studio right on time. I was wearing the pants and boots I planned to wear for the shoot, with a plain black V-neck T-shirt because I figured I was just going to get makeup dust on it. It wasn’t the best fitting shirt – it’s cut a little short, it’s a little pilled, you get the idea.
I’ll call the makeup artist Bridget (not her real name). Bridget showed up a minute late. Now, obviously one minute late is no big deal in the grand scheme of things. But if you own a brick-and-mortar business that includes one-on-one appointments, it’s a nice touch to arrive before your client, unlock the door, and turn the lights on.
She had a hurried, harried sort of energy about her – as if coming in at 10am on a Monday was a lot to ask.
Her eyes raked over my outfit. I could literally feel waves of judgment coming from her.
The awkward middle schooler in me started to shrink. THIS IS WHY I NEVER GET MY MAKEUP DONE. I don’t like feeling judged by people I perceive to be more sophisticated than me.
Inside the studio, she asked me a few questions about what I did and what the photo shoot was for and what I wanted the makeup to do.
I explained that I really wanted my skin to glow. “I have a four-month-old baby,” I said, “hence the circles under my eyes.”
“And the spitup stain on your shoulder,” she said.
She started applying foundation. “Your skin is so–” she began.
Maybe I’m naive – or maybe just confident – but I really, really thought she was going to say “beautiful.”
Then she tried to sell me an exfoliating facial and some customized moisturizer.
Let’s pause this scene right here.
Let’s imagine that Bridget arrived early, opened the studio, turned on the lights and some lovely music.
Let’s imagine that from the moment I walked in, she was authentically trying to connect with me – telling me I was beautiful, being actually interested in my photo shoot, asking about my baby, assuring me that she could transform my dark undereye circles.
You’d better believe I would have been waaaay more receptive to buying an exfoliating facial and customized moisturizer.
Here’s the thing: in the end, she did a great job on my makeup. But it wasn’t a great experience for me.
Now, I can criticize her all I want.
But I have been in her shoes.
I have been so desperate to make a sale that I have projected disappointment onto the person I was trying to sell to.
I have been so caught up in myself that I had trouble seeing the person in front of me.
I have put so much pressure on myself to SELL and SUCCEED that I have lost sight of who I was trying to SERVE.
Not my finest moments.
So in this moment, I want to step out of my judgment of Bridget – and of myself – and offer us both some compassion.
She was doing the best she could. She’s great at what she does … she could just use a tiny little upgrade in connecting with people. Couldn’t we all?
I also offer compassion to my past self. I was doing the best I could. It was pretty terrible at the time. (If you were on the receiving end of one of my super-awkward pushy sales calls, I am so, so sorry.)
It all boils down to this, my friends:
Think about the person in front of you instead of obsessing over the sale.
We all just want to be seen.
November 8, 2019