I was in the store "Ross," trying on a pair of black, peep-toe flats. As I was checking them out in the mirror, I became aware of a lady down the aisle who was also trying on shoes. I heard a couple sounds, and to my horror, realized she was trying to get my attention. I pretended to be deeply fascinated by my shoes, hoping that she would go away. She called out to me again. I feebly answered, "Yes?" knowing what was about to happen.
"Do you think these are ugly?" The lady was about 40-years old, and had a heavy European accent. She was trying on a pair of four-inch heel, peep-toe ankle boots. They were tan, had little square-shaped cutouts all over them. They were the ugliest shoes I had ever seen.
"I love them," I told her. "They are really nice."
I had lied, and I felt bad. A terrible cycle happens each time someone asks for my opinion about something that looks awful. The only way I know to cope with this is to go even further, rather than walk away, in an attempt to compensate for how bad I feel, and how much I don't want to tell the person the truth.
"Really?" she asked.
"Of course," I answered. But more importantly-- are they comfortable?"
I should have stopped here, given I had already taken this too far. Unfortunately, when this type of situation occurs, I continue to dig myself into a deeper grave. It is a vicious cycle-- the more I lie, the worse I feel. In an attempt to manage my own feelings, I make up more lies about the item(s) in question.
"They look like they could be uncomfortable, but if you are able to walk comfortably, then I say-- go ahead and get them! I love them."
"Yes," she replied. "They are comfortable."
As I continued to fail at managing my own discomfort, I shamefully took it to a another level-- I began volunteering additional reinforcement-- questions and opinions outside of what the lady asked of me in the first place.
"Are you going to wear them with a dress?" I asked.
"Yes," she said. "I'm planning on wearing them with a dress."
"Good, because that's what I was envisioning," I said. "I think they would look great with a dress. In fact, if it was a bit of a shorter dress; a little above the knee--well, that would just look perfect!"
I had a similar occurrence a few months before this. Incidentally, it also happened in "Ross." Anyway, a woman was trying on a dress. She said she was planning on wearing to a wedding. It was a metallic blue color, had a thick strap that went across one shoulder, and was pretty short. It looked horrible. It just didn't even come close to fitting her. She asked for my opinion, and I told her that it looked beautiful. Once again, I also went further with additional comments that were unnecessary, telling her that the color was just right for her skin tone, and "I especially love the cut of the dress," which is something my mom would say.
Days later, I began to worry. What if she purchased the dress as a direct result of the positive feedback I provided (lied about), only to wear it to the wedding and be shamed and humiliated by harsh family members and so-called friends, inevitably leading to a severe mental breakdown, and eventual involuntary commitment to a state hospital?
I should probably stop going to "Ross."
I should probably learn to shut the hell up.
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