I had been sleeping for several hours when I awoke in my 1st level hotel room to a large pickup truck, who had parked so close to my car, I wouldn’t be able to get to my driver’s door.
I was wearing something comparable to a bikini, but in my groggy state, I didn’t care. I stood in my door way and shouted over the sound of his running engine that he needed to move his truck because he’s blocking my ability to get into my car. He retorted that I had plenty of room on the other side to get in, suggesting that I climb over, as if I had a gigantic bench seat like he had in his truck. I argued with him some more, (YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!) and when he told me he would be so kind as to back up so that I could move my car, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. I dashed back inside to find some clothes, car keys, and a moment of sanity. I was awake and angry now…
He moved his truck to a different spot in the parking lot, and all was well.
Understanding that a Shoulda/Woulda/Coulda mindset isn’t helpful, here’s what I will do next time if i find myself in a similar situation:
1. Remember that there is always time to take a breath. I acted, in my knickers, without taking a moment to collect myself.
2. I used the 3 Steps to Assertiveness: 1, name the behavior, 2, claim a reason, and 3, tell them what needs to be done about it (yay me, I’m proud of this). When he refused, I could have spoken to the man from his perspective, calmly- which is the step I’ll take if I ever find myself in this situation again. “I know you must want to park close to your room, neighbor. Getting into my car on the driver’s side is pretty important to me. I see a couple of good parking spots over there, still close.” Then I’d offer the most powerful words one can in a confrontation: “What do you want to do?”
3. Stick to my guns a little more. I was willing to move my car to get the disagreement over with, when I had parked there hours before this guy so rudely blocked me in. He did the right thing by moving, but I was willing to give. There is power in insisting someone does the right thing, as opposed to giving in so quickly. At the moment, there was power in getting back to bed too.
We all do our best with the tools we have in each moment. Having the tools to say something, diffuse a situation, and ask for or demand what you want and need is very EMPOWERING.
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