Do you tend to fade into the background?
As women, we sometimes pick the background on purpose, as a way of feeling safe. Sometimes, we prefer to be known as “nice,” and we’d rather not rock the boat. In fact, we feel like any aggressive behavior is unthinkable.
While kindness is important, we should never mistake being assertive with being rude, or standing up for ourselves with being unkind. In rare situations, sometimes rudeness is even called for, and while most situations can be navigated, no woman should feel like a failure for speaking up for herself in an uncomfortable situation.
Assertiveness is a trait associated with success. Embrace it.
Consider these troubling statistics:
Most women won’t report sexual harassment at work. They fear losing their job, missing out on future jobs, or being labeled as “unreasonable.” Instead of putting an end to inappropriate behavior, many women play it safe and allow sexual harassment to continue. When we consider that sexual harassment is any kind of inappropriate behavior, even sexist jokes, many women put up with a lot, in a lot of workplaces, even though they’re legally protected.
Many women lack confidence. Women need guts and self-esteem to stride into a life situation, lay down their cards, and demand results. Confidence can get you a good job and more opportunities. When women have a confidence gap compared to men, they’re able to seize fewer opportunities.
Many women don’t ask for raises. Troubling studies show that women don’t ask for raises as often, even when they’re qualified. Men tend to ask for raises and ballpark a good haggling figure for their increase in salary, while women tend to sit by and keep working at the same rate.
Women hide in many different ways, and each one of those ways should be kicked out the front door. If you find yourself holding back in any of these areas, start working on a change.
Weight. Did you know that women sometimes hide behind their weight? Extra weight can be a shield against intimacy or attention, two things critical for healthy self-esteem. If you feel that you’re hiding behind extra weight, take advantage of a diet aid such as Humapro or an exercise routine to complete your journey.
Being liked. This isn’t a problem for only women. Needing to be liked holds people back from standing up for themselves. Many women fear being called the B word for any type of “aggressive” behavior, and they want to be liked instead. Endure the insults. If a swear word means you’re as assertive as a man, take it as a compliment.
Not getting in the way. Sometimes, women don’t ask for what they want, because they don’t want to be a bother. They don’t want to cause a hassle, or seem demanding. Respect yourself and be direct.