The older I get, the less BS I can tolerate. Or perhaps it’s the more therapy I have, the less shit I will let people get away with. I know that I do not tolerate people cussing me out. On multiple occasions I have had to put up a very solid boundary of “I do not allow people to talk to me like that.” It was hard the first time. The second time it was a little easier, and by the third time I was all “hellllll no you can’t talk to me like that!”. While they were 3 very different situations, the one common thread is that they were all men.
*****I wrote that in 2018 and never finished it. I think in 2022 I would like to add to it.
Yes, it was hard to call people out at first. And then I realized how many times people would just start talking over me. Now when that happens I will put my hand up and use my MOM voice–“May I finish?” is a good start and if it happens repeatedly it will get to the point where: “I know you didn’t just try talking OVER me AGAIN???”. All these things are said with a smile cuz I’m not trying to be a cunt, just trying to remind people that manners and courtesy are wonderful things.
Earlier this year I read an article that mentioned an experiment a lady did where she stopped automatically moving out of the way when she and any given gentleman were walking on a collision path. I thought that sounded interesting, so I gave it a whirl and I will never go back! I work in a male-dominated industry and let me tell you, those dudes will mow a bitch down!! But I don’t move aside, and sometimes they come so close to running into me and look so surprised that THEY have to move.
My favorite change I’ve implemented in the last few years–and I still have to work on it daily–is my language. I’ve stopped saying Sorry. I never realized how much I said it until I started changing it to “pardon me”, “excuse me”, etc. And JUST. Ladies, stop using JUST. I mean, yes, sometimes it’s necessary, but it really does take away from whatever point you’re trying to make, especially in email. It makes us sound small and meek and like we’re asking permission rather than stating facts or asking a direct question. Yes, it might take me twice as long to write an email because I go through and change any language that seems apologetic, but it’s worth it. And it does get easier. And as it gets easier I point it out to other people in a gentle way….because we have to help each other be more kind. The worst thing about the internet is we’ve stopped being kind to each other, so I’m passing on as much kindness as I can.