Do you ever get tired of acting nice? When it’s “one of those days” and you just want to tell it like it is?
Whether from motherhood-induced exhaustion, hormones, stress, excessive caffeine or a craving for chocolate, we all find ourselves on edge from time to time. However, most of us were raised to keep a smile on our faces and continue to act polite, conciliatory and helpful, no matter what.
I have to admit that sometimes, when an aggressive, commission-seeking salesclerk starts following me around, telling me what looks good, what’s trendy or what he’s going to eat for lunch, I feel like saying, “Don’t bother me.” But, I know that if I do so, he’ll turn around and mouth to a colleague, “Wow, she’s a b#*%!” (And why do I care what he thinks?)
Perhaps you’ve had days like that, too. For instance, when you’re late for a meeting, need to rush home to relieve the nanny or you have a hungry, dirty-diapered baby screaming in the back seat, and your car is barely moving on a highway on-ramp. And then, someone quickly approaches in the adjacent lane and angles to cut in front of you. Your inclination is to nose towards the car in front of you, so the interloper has no room to jump in, but you know that if you don’t allow it, someone else will. So, instead of provoking road rage, you smile and signal, “Sure, come on in!”
I think we all need to give ourselves permission to speak the truth; to shush the rude GNO group in the movie theater, to stop someone in the middle of a long, self-aggrandizing story, to deny a Facebook “friend request” from someone we’d rather not have contact with, to tell a friend, colleague or family member that they have hurt our feelings…
According to author Rachel Simmons, women – and especially middle- and high-school girls – must learn to speak their minds. In fact, she theorizes that the main culprit for girl-on-girl bullying is the fact that women are trained to suppress negative feelings and to try to please those who annoy or hurt them the most.
To read more about Simmons’ theories, and learn why “agreeable” men really do finish last, please click here. My friend and colleague and I take turns updating our Permission Slips blog each week. If you would like to receive our posts via email, please send a message to PermissionSlips1@gmail.com.