From time to time, I write something that rubs people the wrong way. In this case, I got feed-back saying that I sound like an anti-feminist who does not support strong-willed women. If you’re one of those women who may be offended by something you thought I was trying to say, allow me take this time to apologize.
I never want to offend you or make you think that I’m implying that you should change in order to attract and keep a guy. Nothing can be further from the truth. I see the potential in women to set the tone for our relationships as well as our homes.
I truly believe that women can change the world in one way or another. Whether we are doing the work ourselves, or supporting the men and the next generation while they do it. We really rock! There’s nothing we can’t do.
I too am a strong-willed woman.
I know what I want, when I want it and how to get it. I’m an opinionated Type A type who doesn’t mind speaking my truth. Which leads me to being misunderstood, more often than not.
And that’s the problem with women like me.
Perhaps we are often misjudged because our words and actions aren’t always received in the way that we mean them. Instead of being perceived as someone who is trying to help, we are often mistaken for mean-spirited perfectionists, who are impossible to please.
We are often misunderstood.
So when we hear people imply that the reason we can’t attract and keep a man is because we need to change, it’s offensive. Because change implies that “you’re not good enough just the way you are.” And that’s not true. If you’re made in the image and likeness of God, of course you’re good enough.
At your core you shouldn’t have to change in order to be loved because then, the real you is not being loved. Some fake version of you is being loved.
Who wants that?
So don’t change your hair color, religion, or hobbies to make someone love you. Those things make you who you are.
But consider this.
Is it possible that even with your good intentions to help, you are actually the one who needs help?
For example, when my son asked his beautiful, talented date to the senior prom, she told him where they would eat, how long they would stay at the prom, and what type of vehicle he should drive. There was no discussion, negotiation, or compromise.
Their relationship lasted for all of “3 minutes” (2 minutes longer than I expected it to last). When I asked him why it ended, he described her as “too much” and “over the top.” Although he couldn’t quite put into words what he was feeling, I knew exactly what he meant. This girl, we’ll call her Tracy, is aggressive, has strong opinions, knows precisely what she wants, and isn’t afraid to impose that on anyone.
Instead of feeling like he was being offered what Tracy defines as help, he felt as though he was being controlled; as though his opinion didn’t matter. Although Tracy was right, most of the time, the way she presented it was wrong.
There’s a right way to be right.
Tracy needs help getting her point across without appearing inconsiderate or bossy.
But instead of suggesting that Tracy changes who she is, I suggest that she grows into her role. She needs to grow into a strong leader who inspires instead of demands; who is assertive and not aggressive; who is confident and not controlling.
Perhaps you’re like Tracy. Maybe you’ve been referred to as bossy, controlling, and aggressive, when all you were doing is trying to help.
If so, I have the same advice for you. Don’t look at it as something you should change. Because changing makes you feel like you’re not good enough. Instead, consider it as an opportunity to grow—something we all need to do.
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
He was a perfect man when walked the earth and he was not born a sinner. As for you and I, we were born with imperfections, so there’s always room for growth.
In short, there’s nothing wrong with being strong, smart, and independent. But don’t use it as an excuse to avoid obvious growth opportunities.