Shitty Uber Drivers, Flat Champagne, and Setting Boundaries

It was 97 degrees in New York City yesterday. I decided to go food shopping after my Soulcycle class, and also decided I was just too sweaty and it was just too hot to walk home, so I got an Uber for the short ride to my apartment. As my driver approached my building, he slowed down, and rather than make the U-turn (or go around the block) to leave me in front of my door, he attempted to leave me across the street, in the middle of traffic. I sat in the back seat, assuming he was waiting for traffic to pass so he could make the U-turn. But nope. He looked at me through the rearview mirror, unlocked the doors, and waited for me to get out of his car.

Horrified and shocked, I asked him to turn around and leave me at my door. “Oh, you want me to turn around?” he asked, sounding confused – and annoyed.

“Yes. Yes I do,” I said sternly. He made a U-turn, I got out of the car, and went on with my day. I also left a review on the Uber app and encouraged them to train their drivers to be more professional and to have more common sense when it comes to dropping off clients. This is not the first time this has happened to me. And it’s not an accurate representation of all Uber drivers. Some are awesome. But this guy, not so much.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. A few years ago, I would have let that driver leave me in the middle of the road. And I wouldn’t have said a peep. And it would have bothered me for days. A few years ago, I was way too insecure and way too worried about what other people thought of me to dare ask for what I wanted – even the things that involved a base level of respect.

This got me thinking about the way so many of us live. The behavior we accept from others is a direct reflection of how we feel about ourselves. It’s not just about asking an Uber driver to leave you at your door, or slow down when he’s speeding, or put the air conditioning on if you’re hot (all things I have confidently asked for when needed – after years of self-coaching). It’s also about asking for a raise at work when you damn well deserve it. Or saying no to a man who is making inappropriate sexual advances toward you. Or cutting off a toxic friendship with someone who treats you poorly. Or speaking up when your champagne comes out and it’s flat (do you know how many flat glasses of champagne I’ve drank just not to make a server uncomfortable!?)

Asking for what you want/need does not make you a bitch. Being assertive does not make you difficult to deal with. Having high standards does not make you a “princess” or high maintenance of any of these other bullshit terms the world likes to put on women who are confident.

And guess what? We sometimes put these labels on ourselves, too. And it’s got to stop.

What are some of the things you’re allowing to happen in your life? Who are the people you’re surrounding yourself with? What kind of treatment are you accepting? Just something to sip on as you go throughout your day. Remember: we get to design our lives. We get to determine who stays and who goes. We get to speak up when something isn’t right.

Realize you have that power. It truly changes everything.

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