We need to be and raise women who are confident and self-reliant; however, the messages we send to women in our society are harmful. How are we raising women that are harmful to our society you may ask. What are we specifically doing that is hurting our society?
The messages we verbally speak and show through our actions are ‘damaging’ all of us; men and women alike.
What we as women hear or view as we grow and mature are harmful to ourselves and those around us. These are a few of the general messages women hear constantly and try to live up to:
- Be nice.
- Be accommodating rather than asking for accommodations.
- Help others rather than ask for help.
- Don’t say no to requests from people in need.
- Always lend a helping hand.
Are there things have we come to believe due to the way we are treated? Are there kinds of cultural prohibitions or warnings have women come to believe? Yes and yes. Here are a few:
- If you ask for too much, someone will get angry or think you are trying to get away with something.
- Don’t try and get out of work by asking for special favors.
- If you say no, you’ll hurt someone’s feelings.
- You should never hurt someone’s feelings.
- If you set limits on your time and projects, people will think you just can’t cut it.
- Don’t complain; keep your problems to yourself.
- Don’t act like you’re better than anyone else.
There are also things we are taught as children that are repeated all throughout our lives and literally set the stage for us to be ‘damaged.’ These statements/ideas are ingrained messages that are extremely hard to break. Here are a few examples of those messages:
- Willpower and hard work will get you through anything.
- Put up a brave front.
- Cleanliness is next to godliness.
- Don’t start something you’re not willing to finish.
- This is the way it’s always been done.
- There is always a right way and a wrong way to do things.
I’m asking you today to try and break free from one of these general messages you’ve always heard. If you’re having a hard day you don’t have to put on a brave face, you can have a bad day.
It’s okay to hurt someone’s feelings; if you don’t like them, their outfit, their new hairstyle, (put whatever you want here) that’s okay. Tell them you don’t like it, in a respectful way, and move on.
If you’re struggling with something, ask for help. There’s no shame in needing help. Everyone hits that point [more than once] in their lives.
If you need a sounding board, a friend, or a shoulder let me know. I’m here!