When I was younger, I was often criticized as “bossy.” And all though my teen years and my professional life, I was reprimanded for qualities people would praise in a man. Tall with confidence is not always a combination people love in a female. Especially other females.
And even now, I get comments that I’m a shameless self promoter. Because I am promoting a book I wrote? That’s what authors do. Or because I promote my speaking? I can tell you that it was never my life’s ambition to push the cause of mental illness, addiction and suicide into a spotlight that didn’t embrace it. For a while, I spit in its face and stomped my feet. I didn’t want me or my child to be a poster person for this stigmatized cause.
That “shameless self promoter” is a mean-sprited phrase meant to shame me and push me back into a shell I have never lived in. I lost a child to suicide and I sold a successful company to be in a break even business the last three years? I don’t get it. But then bullying exists in the adult world, too.
While I ignore the comments because it had more to do with the person who said it than anything with me, it did spark those memories of my younger self when others would call me bossy the second I asserted myself.
I didn’t really know how much I was harboring that until someone else offered amazing feedback, was supportive and encouraging and offered praise that was so opposite of the shameless promoter accusation.
So while there are females that live to erode someone else’s confidence to boost their own, there are just as many supporting, mentoring and encouraging. Thank you for being that crowd.