All my life I’ve felt that I’ve had to exist in two worlds,
- Being Honest
- Being Female
and they seldom seemed to be allowed to exist at the same time, in the same place.
If I am being honest, I’m being defensive and now I must be concerned with how I’m perceived by others.
If I am being female, I do not offend but I also am not being truthful. My ability to effectively communicate my needs and desires suffers, which is deemed as acceptable as long as others are not made to feel uncomfortable.
I’ve had far too many experiences to count when my attempts at clearly stating my intentions has been called “being defensive” and something that I needed to evaluate.
Why does my ability to say “no” offend?
And more importantly, why should I care if you take offense?
If it’s one thing that I’ve learned about myself since entering the technology space two-years ago, it’s this:
My Ability To Maintain My Sense Of Peace, Trumps You Taking Offense To My Unintended Words Or Actions.
When I first read the Four Agreements, I was blown away by the sense of permission to be my true self that I felt. And although it was a paradigm shifting experience, I was not sure I’d ever get to a place where I would consciously intend to live by its tenants but I now am. I face each day with these intentions:
- Be impeccable with your words.
- Don’t take anything personally.
- Don’t make assumptions.
- Always do your best.
This is who I am. This is who we ALL are. Do we fall short? Of course. But what I will no longer do is believe that I have to compromise. I no longer have to choose between being honest and being female, nor will I.
I am loud, silly, smart, courageous, honest, female, and so much more.
Learn to take comfort in knowing that what I say is what I mean. That you do not have to guess at the truth behind my words. That I am going to be authentic and that my words and actions are my attempt at being in alignment with that authenticity. That I have consciously thought through my response in an effort to alleviate any chance of miscommunication and eliminate discomfort to all involved.
So, I am not being defensive…I just said no.