Wednesday, December 14, 2011

"I Got It" and Other Lies Strong Women Tell Themselves (And Each Other)

Wow!

Is it Friday yet?!?! 

I feel battered and bruised. 

.

I always speak to groups (and write) a lot about being "real" as a leader.  The other biggie is to never let them see you sweat.  Frankly, I am not sure which one is more difficult.  *Sigh*

There are times when it is important that your teams see you absorb the punches.  They need you to be strong and professional because they "need" it, but also because they are learning by watching you.  The punches though...well, those are the ones that are difficult for women (in general).  No one wants to be spoken to inappropriately or treated unfairly, but in business...in life...sometimes that happens, and women are nurturers by nature...not brutes.  Still, you have to be strong and bear it.

Today, I took a few punches in front of my team from a horrific person that made me want to puke, cry, hit, scream, and drink...not necessarily in that order, but you get the point.  I had to absorb it.  Deal with it.  Move on from it.  *Insert profanity here*  Ugh.  I couldn't sweat it.  I'm paid not to sweat it. (Though ironically my first thought...and joke to lighten the mood...was I am not paid enough for this.)

Days like this make me wish I were a man.  Number one...men don't on average get the type of verbal abuse women do on a regular basis.  Number two...the volume is lighter because a lot of verbal abuse women get professionally is due to the fact that the man really wants another man to "deal with" and decides to prove his manhood by trying to verbally degrade said woman until she gets him a man (to speak to).  Number three...men enjoy rough banter (on average) more than women (my layperson research).

I am not a man though...I am a woman.  I am a lady (or I try my best to be one every day).

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Whether I am a man or woman, you should treat me with respect and dignity.  You should treat every person you deal with every day with respect and dignity (at a minimum).  We don't though.  We yell and scream and berate people to get an extra 10% off.....if our food is lukewarm...if someone is a few minutes late.  We are a society that is rude, and frankly getting more rude by the day.  Have you looked and listened to some of our children??

My point (and yes I have one) is not that it is simply a man-woman thing, but it is much more universal than that...we all need to check our manners at the door.  Every one of us.

That said, whether you are a man or a woman (but especially if you are a man or someone's boss), and you see a woman being insulted by a man (whoever that man is)...you need to be man enough or woman enough to say, "Stop.  That is enough."  We don't say that enough.  Men don't say that enough.  We don't defend each other enough. 

I have been on my own since I was 18 years old....longer than that truth be told (but I will not digress), and I am used to saying the phrase, "I got it." because let me be clear...I got it.  BUT, and here comes a big one....but it is really nice when someone has your back....operates as your wing-man/wing-woman...cares enough to stand up for you when you are being maligned (whether verbally, physically, or as a matter of principle).  Not just to you, but they actually get in between you and the abuser and say, "No.".

I am a strong woman.  I have a tender heart.  I am not perfect.  I am not the devil.  I have beautiful wings.  I am flawed.  As I was told recently, I am a walking paradox.  I am worthy of respect...no more and no less than every single person who walks the Earth.  Period.

We cannot continue to lie to ourselves and each other and use the phrase, "I got it." 24/7.  We don't always "got" it, and we should not be allowed to lie to ourselves or accept the lie handed to us that we have to always "got" it whether at home, work or play. 

Never let them see you sweat.  That is a lie.

Let them see you sweat.  Let them see you deal with the sweat (and the root cause). 

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By the way, I am one woman in search of someone who will call me a liar when I say, "I got it."  I love being a single, strong woman...but I won't lie..."we" sounds better than "I" when you are dealing with bullies.  I am tired of being bullied...in my personal life, in my professional life, in my volunteer work, etc.  I am really, really tired of being bullied by wolves in sheep's clothing. 

I am in search of how to remain a lady...a strong woman...even while stating coolly to the bullies in my life...."enough"..."there is the door"..."good day"...and maybe that is all there is to it.  Remain calm and just say no.  Maybe Nancy Reagan had it right all along.  Just say no.

Hmmmm....

Yes!


My story goes on...

I have the power to change it.  Me.  Little old me.  I hope there is a "we" someday whether it is partner-in-crime to help me change the world professionally or personally.  In my volunteer life, I hope I can start a revolution (a big "we") on a few of my boards so that we can buck the trend and really stand for something instead of falling into that rubber-stamp board trap that happens to so many well-intentioned groups.  But whether there is a "we" or not...there is a me.  A big ME.  The only one facing God on judgement day is me.  I have to report for my life.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  Just me. 

A great quote in the movie An Affair to Remember" is ~

Terry McKay ( Deborah Kerr ):
"We're heading into a rough sea Nickie."


Nickie Ferrante ( Cary Grant ):
"I know. We changed our course today."

I am not sure whether or not I am heading into a rough sea, but I know for a fact my course is changing. 

What lies do you tell yourself?  Why?  Stop.  I am not sure if you will be glad you did (initially), but in time....my gut say you will be. :)

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Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :) 

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