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    Rutabaga is offline Getting it together, one day at a time.
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    Angry Social conditioning to "be nice" - especially in females

    So a recent experience got me thinking. Why is it expected that we'll be nice, and consider other people over ourselves? Not so much in a general getting along way, but in that there is pressure to look after other people at our own expense. I fully believe that we need to care about those around us, society just won't work if everyone only thinks of themselves. I'm talking about feeling horrible in a situation, but hesitating to be assertive and stand up for yourself and your rights, because it might make someone else feel bad or get them in trouble.

    In my situation I said I was being a b!tch when I stood up for myself. But that's not true, it's a label I gave to myself because I was bucking the way I've been "trained" to behave.

    How do you teach a kid to be caring and empathic, without letting them get caught up in outdated society expectations?

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  3. #2
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    London is offline “I think we're losing our sense of humor instead of being able to relax and laugh at ourselves" - Betty White
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    Hmmm, I think I understand what you are saying.

    I teach DS empathy and manners, but remind him that he is also important.
    DS loves to win.....he is a horrible horrible loser and gets very upset if he loses. He is a great runner and usually wins any running race he is in. The other week he had his sports carnival and he took off like a shot.....then he slowed down which confused us. The runner on his left caught up, DS smiled at him then took off again and won. We asked DS what happened and he said "I wanted *kids name* to win because he never wins.....but I wanted to win more so I let him come second".

    I think if we teach kids that everyone needs a break and we cant always 'win' at everything, they get a good understanding of the ebb and flow of things. As an adult, I just weigh up the situation. Is it more important that *I* 'win' in that situation, or is it really such a big deal to let it go and carry on. Every situation is different and will call for a different reaction.

    I think Im rambling and getting off topic.....might be time for another coffee...

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    Rutabaga is offline Getting it together, one day at a time.
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    Ramble away, I was in the first post!

    I think I was getting at the way we can feel more 'valued' for putting others before ourselves. Perhaps it was the environment I was raised in, though?

    I'm getting more confused each time I consider this then try to put it into words.

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    Actually, I've grown from that environment, and am now one of the more assertive people in my circle. It's just got me stumped how I ended up feeling so bad, when the other person was clearly in the wrong. Where the heck did I even get the idea that I was a b!tch for acting appropriately?! That's why I was thinking it could be an external label.
    Last edited by Rutabaga; 27-09-2012 at 14:24.

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    This is interesting. I'm studying accounting at the moment and one of the subjects was "ethics". It is actually a part of the code of ethics that accountants and auditors put others including society before themselves, even if this is to great detriment to themself.

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    Do you mean as in its impolite for girls to swear etc? or as in girls need to be polite in all circumstances?

    My mother is like that. No matter what people do or say to her she is always polite and just takes it. Consequently she ended up needing psychiatry help. Finally now she stands up for herself.

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    Totally get what you are saying. Girls certainly get the 'be nice training' more then what boys do or did.

    Case in point is the Jill Meagher story....you see in teh footage that some random guy chats to her....its 2am and you can see she is hesitant but she still talks to the guy. I would have done the same in that situation as you dont want to p!ss anyone off and make them angry IYKWIM. I reckon a male in that situation wouldnt hesitate to blow the guy off.

    I have done the same thing in so many situations when I was younger. Be nice, don't be a b1tch, etc, etc and it would often be of detriment to me.

    I dont do it so much anymore as I dont really care if people dont like me....probably why I dont have lots of friends

    But its always seen as ok for guys to speak their mind or say 'no' and no one ever says 'oh he is such a b1tch'

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    Quote Originally Posted by London View Post
    I teach DS empathy and manners, but remind him that he is also important.
    DS loves to win.....he is a horrible horrible loser and gets very upset if he loses. He is a great runner and usually wins any running race he is in. The other week he had his sports carnival and he took off like a shot.....then he slowed down which confused us. The runner on his left caught up, DS smiled at him then took off again and won. We asked DS what happened and he said "I wanted *kids name* to win because he never wins.....but I wanted to win more so I let him come second".
    What a lovely thing to do! You must be very proud of your DS!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle_N View Post
    What a lovely thing to do! You must be very proud of your DS!
    I love that his finishing thought was that HE wanted to win Its so 'him'. Yes, I'm very proud of him....he has his moments, for sure, but he is generally a good kid on the inside.

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    While I think it's not a bad thing for people to be nice in general, I definitely do agree that females are expected to be more generous and giving of their time towards others, esopecially (extended) family.

    If I don't visit or call my nanna every week I get roused on, whereas my brothers never bother and then get praised to high heaven whenever they do take the time once a year to visit her! When my nanna was in hospital I visited, bought her things most days as did one or two of the other women in my family, but the boys didn't even bother. In my family, you don't get thanks as a female you just get criticised if you don't help out <sigh>

    It's all just part of society seeing females as the default carers - I don't necessarily think society expects females be *nice*, it's more a case of we're expected to do more for others and give more of our time caring for others whereas males aren't.

    Plus, the media (run and controlled mostly by men) fawns over sweet, nice females as something the rest of us should all live up to (if you're nice, you'll get places and men will like you more). <gag>

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