I am what you would call a pushover.
I generally almost always crumble under pressure and give in to whatever is asked of me, and if I don’t, I stew on it and feel incredibly guilty for having said no.
I guess this is because of the way I was raised.
The thing I used to hear often as I was growing up was “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. No, is not generally a thing that somebody wants to hear. Although I have gotten slightly better at it in my older age, I still often find myself in situations I’d really rather not have to be in. And when you do say yes all the time, you find you end up getting a little bit bullied in a way.
My high school friends Jade and Julie will remember what they used to do to me in my teenage years (they are both still my friends by the way). Jade used to notify me in the afternoons that the school bus had arrived to take us home. Upon going to get my school bag I discovered I couldn’t lift it as she had filled it up with pavers (our school was only a few years old at the time so there was construction going on the whole time, and subsequently spare pavers laying around). I desperately tried to remove them one by one from my bag whilst pleading with her to ask the bus driver to wait. She got on the bus and waved to me from the window, laughing hysterically at my demise as the bus drove away and i’d have to wait another 30 minutes and catch the bus alone without my friends.
Julie would also be involved. My stop to get off the bus was before hers and as my stop was approaching, she would tell me “bye Amy” with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes before grabbing hold of either my school bag or my legs and holding me on the bus making me miss my stop where i’d have to walk a kilometre back to my house. All because I was a pushover and never able to stick up for myself.
In hindsight it’s a very funny story. However, I think that being told to be polite or not airing our grievances does do ourselves a disservice in the long run.
There is always going to be someone that will take advantage of a sweet and accommodating nature, and that old chestnut of no one being able to make us feel inferior without your consent is undoubtably true.
As women we should be able to speak up for and defend ourselves, and not have to worry about hurting other people’s feelings. If we don’t, it is ultimately us who get hurt in the long run. The people that we are concerned with potentially offending certainly aren’t worried about offending us. And maybe we should take a leaf out of their books. It seems to work exceptionally well for them.
I suppose that’s why I am drawn to, and admire strong women.
Women like Kelly Cutrone and Charlotte Dawson. Both of whom are incredibly strong women who don’t take any nonsense from anybody, and are coincidentally both judges on the American and Australian versions of Next Top Model.
I don’t think there could possibly be a more appropriate choice than these two strong women to mentor and guide young women. But it’s also what it took for both of them to get there to where they are emotionally. Both women have been to their own versions of hell and back and I truly believe that you need to be pushed to your very limit and your spirit completely crushed before you are able to come back fighting strong and able to take on just about anything (or anyone).
On the couple of occasions I have been lucky enough to have met with Kelly Cutrone, the one thing that she pointed out was how sweet I was. And I am a sweetheart. But I also allow people to walk all over me. Not doing myself any favours there.
So am I too nice? Yes, a lot of the time I am. So maybe its time I start becoming a little bit of a bitch, which Kelly Cutrone herself describes as a `Babe in Total Control of Herself.’