“Do no harm but take no crap.” I’m not sure where I saw this quote a few months ago but it has become one of my daily mantras. You could say that I have internalized this phrase in my heart and spirit. I have discovered with time my values, perspective, and priorities have changed. These changes have impacted me in ways that I could never foresee. Over time, I have discovered that many people are put off by my newly discovered ability to say no. It is laughable but I realize that many people have an issue with assertive women. It’s crazy to think that in 2015 many women are silenced or shamed into being the polite girl even when that means subjecting their selves to disrespect from colleagues or subpar treatment from total strangers. However, I believe that a little cheeky flare and personality are essential for any self-respecting woman to thrive and grow. This is essential to love yourself and for others to see you in a honest light.
Kara Andersen explores this very subject in her essay, “Why I’m Done Being a ‘Nice Girl’” and discussed how the fundamental principle of niceness is counterproductive to women who seek personal, professional, and emotional growth. Anderson’s essay outlines a number of anti-nice-girl resolutions which include:
- I won’t be caught in any relationship — friendly, romantic, or professional — that is a waste of time.
- I won’t take the easy way out of any social situation.
- I will not rush to use up less time and space.
- I will not wait for anything or anyone.
- I will not use words like “I’m sorry” to soften a harsh conversation or fill an uncomfortable silence.
- I will not keep my head down in a conversation when something I want is at stake.
I’m not saying that you should eschew being a nice person. However, I believe that you have to evaluate what is best for you, what you are capable of doing with your time and energy, and make a conscious decision to devote your time and personal capital into people, causes, habits, and choices that make you happy. Aligning yourself with anti-nice-girl resolutions does not mean you are a bad person or that you will harm others. It is simply operating with an essentialist’s framework and mindset to maximize your contribution to personal and professional undertakings, personal happiness, and your own sanity. Over the last several months, I have had my share of challenging experiences. I nearly lost my father during the thanksgiving holiday after he was placed on life support, lost my grandfather at the beginning of the new year, distanced myself from old friends that welded a negative influence over me, and humbly learned the necessity of saying no to a lot of requests despite my desire to help. It is so easy for each of us (regardless of sex, gender, etc.) to overextend ourselves, time, or resources because we feel obligated or guilty if we dare to say no.
This shifting perspective has helped me to become more focused on nurturing myself, being present more with my family and friends, balance community service endeavors that are close to my heart, and set my goals more intentionally. Nothing is happenstance. It is all about how you choose to handle and balance things. In my opinion, there is an innate beauty in practicing the art of balance, learning to say no, letting go of past mistakes and the fear of the future’s uncertainty. Intention, self-preservation, and love are three things that many people neglect as a result of “busyiness”, obligation, and distraction. Don’t let the background noise and chatter distract you from the purpose, passion, and essential components of your life! Strive to put out positive vibes in the world and recognize that you don’t have to subject yourself to crap and that it is OK to say no. Rise above it all and move forward in the most passionate and brazen fashion that you are capable of achieving with an intentional objective in mind!
Until the Next Post,