This is what I have been told countless times in my life. Be kind. Be respectful. Be the nicest person ever, because that is what will get you somewhere. If you’re kind, you can expect that you will get the better treatment from others.
But here’s my problem. That’s not the only thing I’ve been told.
“The only way you’ll get anywhere is from being a bitch.”
Wow, that’s conflicting, right?
People have said to me that you have to be a real bitch in order to have a good career. You have to assert yourself. You have to be relentless. You have to speak up. If you don’t, you can kiss your dream job goodbye.
So, what am I supposed to do? I want to be kind, but I want to be a bitch. I want to charm the pants off everyone I meet, because I know that may get me a job, an internship, or kinder treatment from my coworkers and supervisors. But if I’m a bitch (ie: assertive), I can get things to work in my favor. I can show everyone who’s the boss and who knows what she’s doing.
I don’t want to be walked all over because I’m so kind to everyone. But I also don’t want to be labeled the bitch because I don’t take crap from others. I struggle with the two of these labels on a daily basis. When I’m faced with a dilemma, I don’t know if I should just accept the answer or fight it. Do I smile and let it happen, because it may get me somewhere else in the future? Do I respond and speak up about it, because people will see that I don’t give up?
I’m not the only female who feels challenged by this conflict of being kind versus being a bitch. That’s how we’re taught in life. We’re taught to accept things and move on, and to simply be nice. But that’s putting us on the back burner. That is why women have started to be assertive. We no longer want to say yes. We want to say no, and we want to fight, and we don’t care what others think. But because we’ve been taught to be nice, this is deemed unacceptable by some. And this is where the question rises of who we need to be in life.
I try not to let people take advantage of me, and I try to speak up whenever I can, and I also try to be as sweet as possible in situations where it’s needed. But I feel like sometimes that it’s not getting me anywhere in life. I’m still in the same spot I’ve always been because I chose to stay silent in a situation, rather than ask why. I want to kill people with kindness. And I also want to stop letting things slide past me and speak out. What’s the middle ground for this? How can we have both? It’s simple: we can’t, especially in today’s world.
So, what’s your verdict? Are you nice, or are you a bitch?