“Ms. Fiona, I am 33 years old, and I repeatedly get mistaken for someone much younger. It’s starting to grate on me. I don’t mind getting carded constantly, but people keep talking down to me. How do I deal with this?” -Sissy Quinn
Dealing with Erroneous Assumptions
I have the same issue and sympathize, but it can be a boon if properly utilized. I’m petite and youthful looking enough that when I went to peruse available cars at a local dealership with my friend, the salesman made the assumption that said friend was my father and was interested in buying me my first car!
Making the Best of It
Well, I just let the dealer make that mistake so I could test drive the car and ponder my auto options in relative peace while he talked my friend’s ear off. My friend found this immensely amusing, to say the least as he knows nothing about cars nor cares to. Long story short, he was gob-smacked that I brought the blue book value quote for the car and stated what I was willing to pay plainly and authoritatively. He was too disoriented to bicker and haggle over the price and at first seemed upset that he was duped.
It was, in fact, his own presumption though, I just didn’t immediately correct him when he went into his spiel, and he got a fair enough sale out of it regardless. None of it was even intentional; I just went with it so I could avoid the high-pressure sale tactics and hear myself think over it all.
Sometimes it’s an honest mistake people innocently make, and people may talk down to me (or in that case over me entirely) before they get to know me. While it can be cumbersome, one can get privy to important information while being underestimated. You can see someone’s true nature more clearly if they markedly treat you differently when they presume you are younger or more naive than they, themselves are. It reveals their real character and says more about them than you so try not to take it personally. Plus think of how many people would love to look younger.
In the grand scheme of things, there are way more massive crosses to bear. Luckily you can make the best of your lot. You can turn many curses into blessings by a little creative thinking!