No More Ms. Nice Girl

All my life I have been told that the way I communicate is too straight forward and blunt. I have spent decades of both my personal and professional life trying to be “softer” in my communication so that I won’t offend other people. I have avoided conflict at every opportunity for fear of being judged as not nice.

Well, that is over.

Certainly, my intent is not to go around bashing people over the head with my words. But, that has never been my intent although that’s how it was received. So, I am going to say what is true in the way that is natural for me. For me, that is by not sugar-coating or pussy-footing around.

I am not going to label, or name-call, or insult. But I am going to speak my truth without apology for the way it is delivered.

Oh, you say, you catch more flies with honey. You know what, I’m not looking to catch flies. I am looking to be heard. Sometimes it takes being bold to wake people up enough to listen. Even if the reaction is one of offense, it is better than no reaction.

But, more than that, I refuse to continue to apologize for saying what is true for me in a way that you don’t like.

You feel I am being too blunt? Maybe you need to look inside yourself and see what part of you is threatened by hearing my message directly without the usual accompanying garnishes.

You feel insulted because I called you out on something you said that I disagree with? In our society women are expected to be “nice,” which includes not disagreeing, or doing so in a roundabout, indirect manner.

Being respectful and being direct are not mutually exclusive. I can disagree with you in a very direct manner, and that is not inherently disrespectful. If you feel disrespected, then, again, I suggest you look inside to see the narcissism that is threatened by disagreement. Or look at your ideas of how women should communicate that I am violating.

I had a big shift last week. Being heard is more important than being liked.

I had already made that shift when I saw this quote from Naomi Shulman (full text of the blog post at http://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2016/11/17/the-post-election-case-for-speaking-out-naomi-shulman) on Facebook, which affirmed the direction I am headed:

“Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. They got along, refused to make waves, looked the other way when things got ugly and focused on happier things than “politics.” They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbors were dragged away. You know who weren’t nice people? Resisters.”

Yeah.

So, I’m done couching what I say in politically correct terms and wrapping it in softness to make it palatable for you. There are things going on that are not right. I’m going to point that out. Boldly. Directly.

If you want to pull the covers over your head to avoid seeing, and put your fingers in your ears while humming to block out my words, I will yank those covers off you and pull your fingers out of your ears. I can’ t stop you humming, but at that point it’s completely your decision: face reality, or turn away to focus on “happier things.”

I’m done being nice.

5 responses to “No More Ms. Nice Girl

  1. I wouldn’t suggest it. As a young man foolish enough to believe that “people are good,” I often spoke truthfully – in methods ranging from subtle to blunt. I’ve found, from years of this activity, that people whom don’t want to hear the truth, tend to become treacherous when they hear it. That is to say: there is no benefit to honesty with those whom don’t pursue it; there is no probable beneficial outcome.

    • For me, being silent or subtle is no longer an option. I do believe that speaking the truth can change the world. Certainly being quiet cannot. I have been pushed to this perspective by the results of the election. Our president-elect has shown he does not care about the truth. But to be quiet is tacit complicity, and I will not do that. We each have choices to make in our lives. I can only speak for my own.

      • Em. Now may be a good time to press reason: Trump taking office does make a rather strong example of what occurs when people fuck around and play nice instead of getting shit done.

        Still. Most people can barely think, much less comprehend reason, and will become meddlesome.

      • What is the alternative to speaking out, when you see injustice that you are unwilling to accept?

      • Action, of course. Unfortunately, the majority of people want to avoid every problem possible. So its most likely that I’ll have to act alone, and in opposition to both the perpetrators of the injustice and those whom simply wish to hide from life – I’ll have made enemies of those damned cowards by simply reminded them of the problems they refuse to face, and of their own meekness.

        People are wonderful.

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