About the Author

Teresa is a Brooklyn-born, Jersey-raised, Midwest transplant. She’s a writer, editor, theater director, and creative collaborator. Teresa sees all of her work—across genres and disciplines—as an opportunity to help people say what they mean.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Yes telemarketer get on my nerves. The more you tell them no the more they talk. Then I hang up on them they call back. If I block them they call from another number. It never ends!

  2. I completely understand this feeling. I am the decision maker in my organization. I took my CMO, a white male, to a meeting with me. The individuals in the room kept looking to him for answers despite our introductions and me doing all of the talking. The petty me said to myself that the company would not get my business. My CMO finally spoke up and told them that they appeared to be looking to him for decisions that only I could make. They tried apologizing but I was feeling all sorts of feelings behind this. I am quick to say remove the emotions from decision making. However, this simply did something to me.

    • Evalyne, I find removing emotions to be a lot easier said than done. It helps to have an ally in the room, though; shout-out to the CMO for finally speaking up.
      Ty for reading!

  3. Thanks for this…and thanks for your question at the end. Unfortunately, this happens entirely too often. In fact, I think I’ve become a bit desensitized from my response. Because of this article, I’m now paying attention!

    • Ty for reading, Cherice.
      It’s true, I think we’ve come to normalize all kinds of foolishness because if we paused for every single thing–how would we ever get through the day?

  4. Ugh…my whole life. Too strong and firm you’re a….the simple word used by many and ends with itch….Daily struggle trying to make others happy. Only to most times regret not going with your instinct.

    Great read

    • Ty for reading, Jeraldine.
      I’ve learned–am still learning–to take those critiques with a grain of salt, especially when I consider the source. I ask myself, ‘Am I too strong/firm, or are they (s)lacking?’ I’m not going to stop being all that I am to make someone else comfortable with being less. Take care of yourself, sis.

  5. I love this. Thank you for sharing this funny yet so important story.
    I cant even imagine how often my face has literally said WTF in situations of racism or sexism lol…

    I feel this story SO much.

  6. Beautiful read. And a needed reminder to speak boldly and confidently for ourselves, about ourselves, for ourselves. I had an experience at the dentist yesterday with the dental assistant. It’s a bit challenging to speak up about how you’re experiencing some diminished care while your right jaw is numb after three needles of numbing medicine and a dental device has your tongue in a plastic prison. But I knew that what the assistant was doing was causing me pain (firmly rubbing floss against the right side of my lip repeatedly) and once I could tell her, I sure as heck did. I also told my dentist about the experience minutes later when I paid my bill.

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