While those words specifically haven’t been directed at me in a while, I have heard them before.
I’ve been told I have a “strong personality”
That one still makes me smile.
When I worked in the corporate world I had a male boss tell me I should smile more, so I’d have a more pleasant look on my face and be more approachable. You can imagine how much respect I had for that individual.
I’ve been told I am a pessimist, that I need to look at the brightside. That I’m too negative. That I need to better frame not pleasant information in a more pleasant and less direct manner (also from my time in corporate retail).
Does being negative mean that I’m being a Debbie-Downer, or that I am presenting information in a way that doesn’t make other people feel warm and fuzzy? We have become a society of humans that does not like anything uncomfortable. While I can’t say I’m a fan of discomfort, I’m less of a fan of rose-colored glasses and, quite frankly, bullshit.
I know in some ways I have changed my presentation and attitude over the years. That comes with age, experience, and to a certain degree motherhood. There are places I have softened because I don’t need a sharp edge. There are others where my blade is sharper than it’s ever been because I do not have time for “hacking away”.
I don’t want to always see the negative and make it my focus, that is exhausting. But I refuse to just blindly accept most things these days simply on the guise that “this is how it’s always been done.” I don’t particularly care if that’s how it’s always been done, if it doesn’t work for me than I’m going to ask questions.
I will push a little harder and say, more people should be asking questions. When there are so many bits of information floating around, and many of them are conflicting or don’t make sense; why aren’t we raising our hands and saying “excuse me??”
Is it because we want people to like us? Is it because we don’t want to make waves? Is it because it’s easier? At what point in your life does it become better for you and the ones you love to not choose easy and instead begin to ask hard questions? What has to happen to you, or someone you love before you decide you no longer want to just sit and watch the world around you?
I’m being nondescript on purpose. Not evasive, instead general and high level, to gauge if it helps you get the gears turning. There is SO much going on in the world right now, whether it’s in a foreign country or in your living room. I’d encourage you to start at home and in your community before trying to save the world (there seem to be plenty of those individuals out there already) but regardless of the desitiantion just start.
Start asking questions, start being “difficult” or a little negative when you observe something that doesn’t make sense to you. It might rub some people the wrong way, and that’s their problem not yours. But it might also open up doors you never realized were there. You don’t know unless you start and take the first step.
So be difficult. Have a strong personality. Create changes in your life that have a ripple effect on the rest of the world. Small shifts are better then the non-existent. Also, resting bitch face keeps you pretty. I’m kidding (kinda) about that last part, but really…
Get out there Mama and ROAR