For the last few days I have been coaching my daughter, who’s a college freshman, on how to be firm and demanding when it comes to her career and working with others.
She’s an associate editor for a student-run publication and with her title comes a few responsibilities she isn’t quite use to. It’s almost like a supervisory role in a sense because she’s assigning tasks to others. What she’s learning is that people don’t always do what they say they’re going to do nor do they always meet our expectations. It’s a very valuable lesson for her to learn now. While she may be feeling stressed over the disappointment that comes or having people take her kindness for weakness, she is learning something that will not only carry her through college, but serve her very well in her future career and life in general. She’s learning now, at 18, something I just recently got a handle on.
I spent a lot of time as a young adult never wanting to hurt anyone else’s feelings. So I let a lot of people get away with a lot of things. I didn’t often defend myself and agreed with things verbally I really didn’t agree with mentally. I said “yes” to things that were inconvenient for me. I put my own happiness last to make sure others had what they needed. I didn’t speak up and was far too concerned with people liking me than I should have been. And each of those behaviors cost me something. Although I’m grateful to have experienced those challenges because that all led me here, I never want to be that person again.
I love that I am now able to say “no” sometimes and hold people accountable and even tell people when they’ve hurt my feelings. I know it has mostly come from my getting older, but it also comes as a result of being tired of not fully living life the way I truly wanted and being able to do what I love. I’m starting to put me on the front burner of my life more often. It feels amazing to be able to also teach my daughter this valuable lesson.
From our careers to our romantic relationships we are responsible for showing people how to treat us. We can either be firm and make our requests known or we can sit back quietly and accept how others decide to treat us. It’s a choice and I hope, Bolder Sisters, that we’re each making the choices that serve us best.
Bolder Sisters, let’s talk about it. Are you being firm or allowing others to walk all over you?