Here’s the thing about being a confident woman. Everyone tells you to be one, but when you are, they don’t like it so much! However, if you’re a confident woman, that’s their problem. Confident women may have made the mistake in the past of abandoning their confidence to please others, but no more. Here are five other mistakes confident women have vowed to never make again:
Feeling responsible for someone else’s feelings
If someone tells a confident woman, “What you did upset me, why won’t you stop it?” the confident woman refuses to be held hostage by that. She knows she didn’t upset the other person—they did that all by themselves. Yes, if a confident woman has made a mistake, she’s confident enough to own that and apologize. After that, she knows how that person feels is on them, not on her. The confident woman owns her own emotions and expects others to do the same.
Worrying about what others think
The confident woman knows she can’t make everyone happy. She knows there will be plenty of times when someone is unhappy with her or with what she thinks, says, and does. The confident woman is strong enough to listen to feedback, of course—if it’s from a reasonable source. If the feedback makes sense, she’s smart enough use it. If she doesn’t agree with it, the confident woman is secure enough in her own thinking to stay with it.
Using phrases that downplay their power
Confident women are assertive and fear doesn’t trick them into hiding their power. Inserting words such as “just” comes across as, “I feel bad for asking so I’m going to soften my request.” Confident women don’t say, “If you could just take a look at my report,”—they say, “Will you take a look at my report?” Confident women don’t say, “I just want to say,” and then say what’s on their mind—they begin with what’s on their mind. Confident women don’t’ say “This is just my opinion, but” –they say, “My opinion is…” Similar phrases confident women have vowed to abandon include, “You might not agree with this but,” I’m certainly no authority on this,” “I could be wrong about this” and “I’m sorry to ask this.”
Being apologetic when unnecessary
Sloan Crosley, in the June 23, 2015 issue of The New York Times “The Opinion Page” wrote, “For so many women, myself included, apologies are inexorably linked with our conception of politeness. Somehow, as we grew into adults, ‘sorry’ became an entry point to basic affirmative sentences.” Confident women skip all unnecessary apologies and speak with confidence. They don’t say, “I’m sorry but I’m afraid you’ll have to redo your report.” Instead they say, “You need to do the report over again—I’ve made notes on what needs to be corrected.” Confident women don’t say, “I’m sorry, but can you bring me some more salad dressing?” Instead they say skip the “I’m sorry” and say, “I need more salad dressing, would you please bring me more?” As Ms. Crosley wrote, “The sorrys are taking up airtime that should be used for making logical, declarative statements, expressing opinions and relaying accurate impressions of what we want.”
Taking care of everyone but themselves
In our evolutionary history, men were the warriors and hunters while women were the home-makers and care-givers. Women are now warriors and hunters in their own right—but too many are still taking care of everyone but themselves. Women make up half the workforce now but still do more than men in terms of childcare and household work. But not confident women—they do it differently. Confident women have let go of the guilt that drove them to “taking care” of others while neglecting their own happiness and well-being. Confident women find time for themselves because while they are happy to give to others, they are not willing to enable them any longer.