Don’t get me wrong, I can relax with the best of you – as long as it’s on my own terms. Snuggled indoors with a good book or film, Mr ShoeThatAlwaysFits, and (perhaps) a glass of wine or two.
But, when someone tells me to relax I respond in exactly the same way – I clam up and do exactly the opposite. I’ve frustrated hair dressers, manicurists, beauticians, masseuses – and those are the very people who are attempting to soothe away my worries. Imagine my reaction to dentists, doctors and those people who have to inflict pain for the greater good.
“Just relax” are words to instill me into a state of rigidity normally only seen in tantrum riddled toddlers. It’s a defensive mechanism brought on by youthful excursions to A&E; treatment of split heads, torn ligaments and pretty much anything else always started with a “Just relax” statement before things got prodded, pulled and strapped back into shape.
It doesn’t help that health professionals still use these words today; recent experiences include root canal dental work, cortisone injections into both hands, and the poor practice nurse that swabs your cervix with alarming regularity.
Little wonder then, that my instincts ensure that my body hears “Brace, brace” every time those two other words are uttered.
I am going to a spa day on Friday and have a couple of treatments booked – let’s hope they don’t say those two little words.