It is widely known that women in positions of power are deemed as bitchy, rude, and domineering. Rarely are women of high statuses considered demanding or decisive and just strong in knowing what they want and how they want it – they are always viewed as emotional, catty, and a series of other . After a recent chat with a mentor of mine, I developed a running list of ways to slice through the gray area of being bossy or bitchy. First, it is important to recognize that neither are “bad” ways to be. Lately, there has been a reclamation of the term ‘bossy’ and more people are seeing that it is perfectly fine to own your role as the boss and to lead proudly with your head held high.
1. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
I live and breathe by the statement “say what you mean and mean what you say”. The way that you craft a question or a statement is more important than what you are actually attempting to convey. For example, if you are dealing with a professor and an undesirable grade on a paper, saying “can you revisit my paper and regrade it” may not be as effective and yield the same results as saying “Professor X, I have reviewed your commentary and critiques on my paper. I would like to sit with you and further discuss the grade I have received and possibly dispute it.”
2. You’ll never know if you don’t try.
One of my favorite movie quotes of all times is from the film A Cinderella Story: “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Those words are so powerful because they essentially say that no matter what you think may happen and no matter what could happen, you can’t let possibilities, fears, or doubts steer you away from attempting to achieve your goals. There are just as many possibilities of success and acceptance as there are possibilities of failure and rejection; so why not take that 50/50 shot? Often, when men are faced with opportunity, they negotiate and compromise their way into getting exactly what they want. As women, we should not be afraid to push for what we want. All in all, ask for what you want, apply for what you want, and do not be scared of the odds.
3. Know Yourself
Like Drake – the Six God himself – said, you have to know yourself. When people discredit you, undermine your authority, or do not take you seriously because of your gender and/or your race, do not forget your character, your values, your work ethic, and all of the wonderful things that make you, you. Assert yourself and be proud of who you are and the journey that you took to get to where you are.
4. Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve
Regardless of being a strong female leader, people might still talk to you as they wish. Be tough and do not let the rude, snide comments get under your skin. Think of it like this: I intimidate them. I confuse them. I am on a level that they aren’t and in result of that, they try to tear me down. Of course, you should not tolerate disrespect and anything that makes you uncomfortable, but just have a general understanding of where people’s distaste for strong women comes from.