I’ve been called a lot of different things throughout my years of existence: confrontational, aggressive, abrasive, complicated, combative, defensive, etc…the list can go on. My problem is that most of the time when I’ve been called those adjectives, it’s been by men (Spoiler Alert! I don’t care!!) but after a while I started to wonder, well, am I? Am I too confrontational, aggressive, abrasive, combative, or any of those things? Well, the answer is no, I’m not, I’m just not afraid to be outspoken, state my opinions, and be loud when it’s needed to get my point heard.
I remember crying to my pops one night (he didn’t know I was crying but I guess he does now lol) because I had just finished arguing with someone, and he said “see, that’s why you’re alone now and you’ll probably always stay that way because you’re too confrontational and don’t know when to just shut up and listen.” (No, I will not show y’all the receipts.) Well, my pops being my pops told me, “you’re not the problem, he is. You’re not too confrontational, he’s just a little bitch” (sorry mom!). After some well needed self evaluation, I learned a valuable lesson that night about me not being the problem but societal standards on women are the problem. I’ve never understood how or why complacency is a desired trait. When men are outspoken, aggressive, confrontational, combative, etc. it’s never actually seen as a bad thing and in some cases, its praised because its just “boys being boys” or “beings a mans man.” When women display those same traits, it’s deemed as a negative because it’s somehow unbecoming of a woman. Seems to me like people just expect complacency, and that’s just something my parents raised me to be.
Despite all the crying and whirlwind of emotions, those situations taught me an overall lesson, in life, about what it means to be secure in myself. I’m secure enough in myself that I can voice my opinion and still attentively listen to yours without feeling like I’m being attacked or the pressure of confrontation. I’m secure enough in myself that I will speak out when necessary. I’m secure enough in myself that I don’t run from confrontation, I face it head on. Unfortunately, many people aren’t that way, and that’s their burden to carry, but it doesn’t mean that I have to compromise myself to appease them or their broken, insecure egos.
I’m not the problem because I have no problem speaking my mind when something bothers me or being loud when I need to be. Being outspoken is not a bad thing and it shouldn’t be shamed. Last time I checked, closed mouths don’t get fed, and you’ll continue to miss shots that you don’t take. So, ladies, don’t be afraid to speak your mind because someone won’t agree or want to stay because someone else WILL agree with you and someone else WILL stay to hear the great or even mediocre thoughts, opinions, and ideas you have. Don’t ever think you need to compromise yourself for the sake of others’ happiness.
Keep living, loving, and laughing.