There’s a falsehood that repeatedly circulates and that fallacy is that people (be it man or woman) don’t like aggressive women—and I wholeheartedly disagree.
And it’s not about being a tactful bitch or even a pretty, smiley one—no, it’s more direct than that.
Here, without mincing words, is how to be a strong, independent, go-getting woman that others will still want to be around.
1. Like yourself.
The way that we treat people comes from within.
When we like who we are and accept everything about ourselves—like our aggressive nature, if we have one—then we’re so much more likely to accept others for who they are—and it shows.
2. Don’t fight.
Yoga practitioners strive to reign in their churning, swirling thoughts by training the mind to be still—but this is not the same as fighting who you truly are.
Some of us are born easy-going, for instance, and some are not. (I can especially vouch for this as a loving mother.) It’s imperative that we own up to our more innate qualities so that we can fully develop them and then let them shine.
3. We are not Gods.
Yes, you can be an aggressive individual who has the confidence to assert yourself easily, but please remember that your way isn’t the only way or always the best way either.
Again, as a mama, my daughter is much less obvious than I am in the way that she shares her opinions and thoughts, but just because she’s a tad quieter and calmer about her delivery doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t pause and appreciate her perspective.
In short, yes, be your aggressive self, but let’s not forget that we are not better simply because we’re louder.
4. Be strong enough to back off.
It takes a lot of personal discovery and, often, experience to learn when a situation calls for boldness and when the boldest action is silence and patience. Continue searching and practicing.
5. Be kind.
An aggressive woman is still a kind one.
Self-confidence is easily mistaken for self-centeredness, although these two don’t have to go hand in hand.
Part of the reason for this faulty bias is that emphatic, self-confident people are not afraid to be big and bold and shiny—and this can be intimidating. Consider that it’s not our job to make others feel comfortable with our own radiance, but, equally, that we can be empathetic and understanding.
6. Own it.
I’ve been writing a book on being a recovered anorexic and a huge part of anorexia is trying to make yourself smaller—and I don’t mean physically.
Everyone is done a disservice when we try to cram our vibrancy into tiny packages to make others more comfortable with our presence.
7. The root of it all.
Get in touch with the why of your fearlessness, because it’s when we act out strongly from a place of fear, intimidation and, basically, ego that we are not being strong—we’re being jerks.
8. Don’t live your life to be liked.
I know that the title of this article involves being liked, but the bottom line is that people will like you while others do not. Living our lives from a place of neediness is not only unhealthy but unattractive.
Be okay with who you are—and be alright with less than perfect appraisals.
The deceptive story that aggressive women are bitches in a negative sense only borders on true when that aggression comes from a personal belief of self-deficiency and a reaction of bullying; driven by a demand to justify and prove our worth.
However, when we connect with our biggest, brightest inner selves and then shine out to the world from this place of love, we’re radiating love and light—and, well, what’s not to like?
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
~ Marianne Williamson
Photo: Richard foster/Flickr.
This article was first published by elephant journal.