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Be Brave Enough to Stop Pleasing People

Expressing anger takes a lot of courage for women who have been taught to hide their inner rage. Many women have been taught to silence themselves in order to please others. Soraya Chemaly, author of RAGE BECOMES HER, explains how women should not be dismissed, victimized, or abused for communicating their feelins. She wants women to be brave enough to stop pleasing people.

Be brave enough to stop pleasing people, to be disliked, to rub people the wrong way. In many environments, all you have to do to be castigated as an angry woman is to say something out loud, so you might as well say exactly what’s bothering you and get on with it. This means that, usually, you have to come to terms with not always being liked. Your anger and assertiveness will make some people unhappy, uncomfortable, sensitive, cautious. They will resent you, your thoughts, your words. They will hate your willingness to risk social connections and challenge social conventions. Be prepared to be labelled humorless, difficult, a spoilsport, and a ruiner of parties, meetings, dinners, and picnics.

There is discomfort in understanding. There will always be people who are deeply uncomfortable with your anger. They will attempt to diminish what you say by disparaging your choice of expression. This is a kind of laziness and a sure symptom of dismissal and, sometimes, abuse. If someone does not care to consider why you are angry, or why anger is your approach to a special event or problem, then that person is almost certainly part of the problem. Among women, this dismissal often comes from the desire not to identify with “victimhood,” and your anger, as a marker of social difference and disadvantage, is a challenge to that concept. Demanding fairness and describing a problem doesn’t make you a “victim.” Silencing, denial, mockery, intimidation, and callousness might, though.

It helps, in these circumstances, to think of the difference between being nice, which girls are taught to do at all costs, and being kind. Nice is something you do to please others, even if you have no interest, desire, or reason to. Kindness, on the other hand, assumes that you are true to yourself first.

To find out other ways to be brave in expressing your emotions and rage, pick up a copy of RAGE BECOMES HER by Soraya Chemaly


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Excerpted from Rage Becomes Her by Soraya Chemaly. Copyright © 2018 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash


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