Say please and thank you.
Don't make a fuss.
Be on your best behavior.
Go with the flow.
Do what you're told, when you're told to do it.
Speak when spoken to.
Be a good little girl.
For as long as I can remember, there's always been a prize for being the good girl. The one who doesn't ruffle tail feathers, who makes due, obeys and in general, makes life easy for those around her, particularly, those in control.
Don't get me wrong, being kind, abiding by good manners and not being a jack ass just because you can are important attributes and ones we should applaud.
The problem is when bit by bit, gradually, before you know it's even happening, you trade your voice, opinions, hopes, desires for the good of the cause, eventually, at any cost.
It's too easy, really.
It starts to happen with the little things. Like, when you really don't want to do something but it would make it so much easier if you just sucked it up and did it. And that's life, right? The constant negotiation of when you're going to put your foot down and fight for your rights versus when after some exasperation, you just decide to take one for the team.
But what happens when you've been taking one for the team long enough that you forget to ask yourself if you want to be on the team anymore or if you like your position or if you want your role to change or be modified?
I think these are worthy questions that need to be asked in relationships at home, work, with our family and friends and in general...
When does it behoove you not to accommodate or play nice? What would it look like if they didn't immediately think of you as the nice girl or the one who can always be counted on? At the end of the day, I'm slowly becoming more comfortable with the idea that respect for another as far more admirable than liking them. And the people I admire most are those who've decided that this is their one and only life and that maybe it's time to speak up, not tow the line and honor their truth, even if it doesn't groove with the dominant voice.
And to that, I say it's okay not to be the good girl. It doesn't immediately imply that you have to be the bitch...although, sometimes, that's called for.
Rather, it means that your voice matters, always.