Too often so many of us girls are obsessed with being the "nice girl." This is the girl who always smiles and never openly disagrees. She is agreeable with everyone even at the expense of herself. She often never sets boundaries because is too worried about others not getting their way. She never speaks directly and always speak with disclaimers like, "But it's no big deal if you can't." She is the ultimate people-pleaser, no matter what it means for her own happiness.
About a year ago, I recognized that I am this girl too often, and now I am working to change it. Now, I'm asking you to recognize it in yourself - and if you are comfortable and willing, change it.
From infancy, women are inundated with the notion that they exist to help others and to be a nurturing figure. Girls see it in the media, in their families, at school, and in every other part of their life. In many ways, their goals and hopes are pushed aside to help propel the so-called 'more important' narratives of those around them. It goes against the grain to put yourself ahead of anyone else and to say, "No," because too often we are taught to only say, "Yes."
Women who decide that it is okay to put themselves first or go against this societal perpetuation of feminism and the 'nice girl.' They are labeled as bitchy or controlling or needy or irrational or angry, and being labeled as such over and over can really take a toll on even the strongest of women. It is difficult to believe you aren't being bitchy or controlling or needy or irrational or angry when everyone is telling you that you are.
Well, contrary to popular belief, it is okay to say, "No." Being direct, instead of dodging arguments, is not bitchy. Asking to have things done a certain way is not controlling. Having needs and wanting them to be fulfilled is not being needy. Having emotions and expressing them is not irrational. And if you have the right to be angry, just as anyone else does. Your purpose is not to walk on eggshells and bend over backwards to please people. Your purpose is whatever you want it to be.
You and your feelings are valid. Remember that.