Confrontational, self-assured, and strong-willed.
Three adjectives used to describe a highly successful career woman….or synonymous with raging bitch? You decide.
The problem lies in the fact that women are “supposed” to be agreeable, sweet, and empathetic. Of course there’s nothing wrong with these character traits, but on the other side of the spectrum we’re also told to that we have to “fight for what we want” and have a “go-getter” attitude when it comes to accomplishing our goals. That’s where the confusion hits.
Exerting assertiveness does not come easily to me. Confrontation is terrifying, and I’m always paranoid about sounding rude or entitled when sharing opinions. For this reason, I triple check with several different people on whether or not my emails are polite enough. This usually results in over-thinking and obsessing over wording, adding an excessive amount of “thank you’s” and coming off sounding like a 13-year-old expressing gratitude for meeting One Direction. Whoops.
However, being assertive is actually an important key to happiness. Many people are like me, choosing to agree amicably with others rather than opening up the potential for an argument. It’s easier to stick with the current way of doing things rather than fight, right? However, does that mean we should stick with a job where we’re treated horribly, just because it’s easier than taking a stand and appearing rude or domineering? Should we settle for a relationship that we’ve clearly put more investment and effort into than our partner has, just because we don’t want to be alone?
The problem lies in the fact that many are worried that being assertive always translates to aggression and negativity. Nobody wants to potentially compromise their reputation as a nice person, but is that the price we have to pay to get what we want and feel we deserve?
What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments as I navigate the tricky assertiveness landscape.