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July 15, 2019
Word of the Week: Anger
“Do you expect people to do things for you for free just because you got yourself into a mess?”
“Why do you even have a business when you only make $___ in revenue?”
“Your finances are a disaster”
“I expect you to pay in the next seven days or I’ll sue you”
“Do you want to take this up in court?
“Don’t ever call me again”
I am not kidding when I say these are things a grown-ass adult yelled at me last Tuesday morning.
Let me back up and share what all went down.
One of the trickiest parts about relocating from CA to NY has been figuring out what to do with my company from a legal standpoint. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I am overly cautious when it comes to the legal side of my business. I’ve had many people, including attorneys, tell me I take the legal stuff too seriously. However, for me, it is an important way that I feel safe and grounded in my business.
It turns out that moving an LLC from CA to NY is especially complicated. The process is not straightforward and there are a lot of hidden costs if you don’t do it right. Instead of blindly following someone’s advice or a random article on Legal Zoom, I took the time to educate myself, speak directly with the Secretary of State offices, and consult with multiple attorneys.
I initially reached out to an attorney who I had worked with in the past, let’s call him Rich, to get a sense of the effort and investment it would take to do this right. He took my call, gave me half-ass answers, and offered questionable advice. Something didn’t feel right about working with Rich so I kept looking.
A few weeks later, I met with an amazing female attorney, let’s call her Rachel, through the women’s co-working space I’m a part of. Rachel was extremely knowledgable, met with me for an hour (free of charge) to answer my questions, and treated me with respect. I pretty much hired Rachel on the spot. Even though her rate was 5x more than Rich’s, I was happy to pay extra to work with someone I liked and trusted.
Fast forward to last week when I received an invoice for $200 from Rich even though he never mentioned he was charging to speak with me about my initial questions. I called to dispute the invoice and that’s when he spewed all of those nasty comments at me. I was so caught off guard that I went straight into the trauma vortex and forked over the money.
Shaking, I called Andrew to tell him what happened and in between sobs, I screamed: “WHAT A F*CKING ASSHOLE.”
It felt good to say that.
See, in the past, I would have fallen prey to Rich’s tactics. I would have thought I was as horrible, inconsiderate, and clueless as he said I was. But this time, what I felt was anger.
Rich was a classic bully. He had used his power as a white male in an authority position to insult me, threaten me, and ultimately, get his way. How dare he? Never in a million years would he have spoken to Andrew like that. I was disgusted.
Here’s how a lot of society would have responded to my seemingly trivial experience:
“Boys will be boys”
“You must have done something to provoke him”
“You should apologize”
“You are overreacting”
“Let it go”
Women are rarely given space or permission to feel anger. For centuries, women’s feelings have been dismissed, downplayed, or completely ignored. This kind of systemic oppression takes a toll on the psyche. Some schools of thought even say that depression comes from anger turned inward.
So let this be your permission slip to express anger this week. Acknowledge when things don’t sit well, your feelings are hurt, or you feel taken advantage of. Speak your truth.
And remember, every time you stand up for yourself, you are healing the wound for all of the women in your lineage who were silenced.
Ask Yourself: How would you describe your relationship with the emotion anger? Is your default to swallow your anger, blame yourself, or blow up at someone else? What is your go-to reaction when you see another woman express anger?
Weekly Mantra: My feelings matter.