But with just a bit of prep, you’ll be able to quell the emotions of others and continue more peacefully down the path of your beard quest.
This month, we offer some thoughts on dealing down the discouragers.
Comment No. 1: “My son is growing a hairy face.”
Your response: “Mom, I’m still your son. But I’ve grown now, and need to project my own style. My own pizzazz. I still love you, beard or no beard.”
Parents need reinforcement that your facial hair does not change the context of your relationship. Give them love and they will dismiss your growth spurt. Works every time.
Comment No. 2: “We are concerned you're not projecting a professional image for the firm.”
Your response: “It’s a bit awkward, I realize that. But once it grows out, I intend to keep it neatly trimmed so as to project an enhanced image for the firm. I also think that the beard will help modernize our image so we are not seen as old fashioned or outdated.”
Sell your beard as a benefit to the firm. These are old cronies and they need to get with it, so remind them the favor you are doing for them. And perhaps ask for a raise when they see you were right!
Comment No. 3: “It’s scratchy when I kiss you.”
Response: “The grow out is always itchy, sweetheart. And I know how much you hate that feeling against your velvet-like, voluptuously soft skin. Tell you what, I’ll work to soften the beard with your conditioning creams, and if you still hate it after two months, I’ll shave it off.”
Women change their mind as often as the weather. Lean into this in your response and you’ll be fine. Plus, using her potions makes her feel somehow needed. And loved.
Comment No. 4: “Dude, looks like you’re hitting puberty.”
Response: “Actually, it only looks that way because the hair isn't grey like yours.”
Throw it right back to your homies. Never give an inch. It is a sign of weakness. They’ll admire you for your singularity as you flatten their attempts to humiliate you. Have fun with these junior roasters. They have no idea how strong-minded you’ve become with becoming bearded.
Comment No. 5: “We admire your courage and conviction.”
Response: “Please, no brown-nosing.” The team working for you will be flush with compliments. They’ll rush, ooze, and gush over the new hair. Ignore their idiotic clamor. Send them on their way. Use expletives in your language. Make sure they know you can spot their misguided attempts to jump onto your train. Above all, be skeptical of anyone who compliments too much or too early in your beard-growing odyssey.
Comment No. 6: “If I had such an ugly face, I’d grow one too.”
Response: “You do. Why don’t you join me and grow one too?”
Colleagues will show emotion in your beastly endeavor for a variety of reasons, ranging from jealousy to envy. Rather than firing back at colleagues, you can turn the tides of their jealousy and envy by becoming that bearded leader that can help an organization grow. Oh yes. Think of all the bearded leaders of history, and saddle up.
Author Mohawk Matt is Founder & Chief Barber at Bolt Barbers. Follow him on Twitter @mohawkmatt.