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Stop Caring About Being “Liked” and Invest in Yourself

“Nice guys finish last”, most of the time only exists in movies. But “Nice girls finish last” is evident in our society. Some ladies are so concerned with being nice and pleasing others that they forget to live their life and chase after what they want.  

There are women in our lives that have forgotten to invest in themselves. Our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins have found themselves trapped. They put their husbands/lovers first by making sure they have a meal when they come home from work and maintaining a household with integrity. They have found themselves in a lifetime of servitude. When their kids move out or the husband/lover leaves, they realize how much they have invested in others and how they have become supporting characters in their own story.

We love these women but do we want to be them? Being a mother and/or a wife is a position many of us hope to be in. But we can’t forget to be selfish. Selfish is usually used in a negative connotation but we should get used to seeing it as beneficial. The positive definition of selfish is: seeking one’s own pleasure and satisfaction. Put yourself first. Even if it seems "unladylike" and against everything you were taught as a child

How can we be selfish but still be likable, approachable, and respectable? 

Scholar, professor, and public speaker, Brene Brown, who gave the TED Talk, The Power of Vulnerability, interviewed one of the most influential women of the 21st century, Oprah Winfrey, for her Living Brave interview series.

In Living Brave: Oprah Winfrey, Oprah talks about curing her “disease to please” in order to live a brave life.  “You cannot live a brave life without disappointing anyone,” she says. The important people who really matter will be there for your journey, and cheering at the finish line. Giving is only fruitful and fulfilling when people give back. Often people make their way into our lives by taking and taking from our generosity until we have nothing left to invest in ourselves. 

We must be selfish and know when people don’t fulfill our needs. The word “no” is a source of empowerment and a way to filter out toxic relationships. Keeping track of our identities and desires, keeps us in the race to ensure us that we don’t finish last.

While the author, Chimamanda Adichie, was promoting her book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, on NPR she spoke about the danger of teaching girls to be likable. She speaks of a friend who was being harassed by her superior and wanted to confront him. In confronting him, she was worried about being rude. Adichie said, “ [I remember thinking] You know what? You should be bloody rude! And I remember also thinking, Only a woman raised in the way that we've been sort of conditioned would think about not being rude in telling somebody who's really hurting her to stop.”

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3

Senior at Montclair State University. Storyteller. Artist. Cinephile. Writer. Twitter/Instagram: @ChristlStringer
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