When I was in my early 20's, I had a horror job in a toxic environment at a local council as a Ranger. One of the Senior Rangers, a man in his 30's with a very messed up home life.....actually make that a messed up everything, took a bit of awkward flirting too far and tried to put his hand down my top while we were patrolling together.
I reported it to my immediate supervisor, and was told that he was "just like that", "going through a really tough time", and "had a really unhappy homelife with a wife who constantly had affairs". I was strongly encouraged to be a 'nice girl' and not take it further.
Stupidly, I did what they asked, and have regretted it ever since. It was not until a couple of years after the incident, when I was safely in a new job (my current job), that I told my now DH.
I now work in a role where I am occasionally in a leadership/mentor role, and I could not imagine giving any person the advice I was given, even if they were complaining about a close friend. Being nice caused me to resent a job that was potentially an excellent opportunity for me, and as a result I performed badly and below my intellectual level.
I sometimes wonder where I would be if I had not played that nice role!
Hmmm this is a topic I struggle with. Glad to see it discussed! I have never been the most assertive person. I am assertive in the same way as a rock or tree trunk lol, you can try to push me around but i won't move, even tho I don't actually *do* anythin in my own defence lol. Does that even make sense ha ha!?
This mum at playgroup one day was in my face about how "mums who went back to work were selfish, that all you had to do was cut spending and make sacrifices so you could stay home with your kids." I said a couple of times that i didn't agree but she literally placed her body in front of mine to drive her point home, she was getting really forceful about it. In my head I was fantasising about sticking my nose in hers and yelling "no I dont agree, being able to stay home is a *luxury* and many mums have no choice but to work to pay the mortgage and put food on the table". Instead I said 'ummmm...', scratched the ground with my toe and politely excused myself. And avoided her after that lol.
What I am saying is i need to take an active role in my own assertiveness, and i need to teach my girls to do the same thing. I'm getting better at it, there is nothing quite like being around a bunch of sleep-deprived hormonal mothers to teach you to stick up for yourself lol. And your kids. That's my biggest motivator i think, I want my girls to treat others well but not be pushed around.
I am all for standing up for yourself and having a good sense of self worth so i try to instill these values into my girls. But I also value empathy and compassion so as they get older I'll try to guide them on how to find that balance.
So far my girls are pretty vocal and strong in their actions about how they feel and what they want and need so I will try to keep that going so they know they can speak up (although maybe the force of this needs to be slightly worked on).
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