There are many women out there just like me. Maybe loud, for sure smart, perhaps even tall, certainly not shrinking violets. We make people uncomfortable as hell.

For women of confidence like us, the key to knowing how to move through career and relationships is simple. You must have an exact understanding of your own scariness factor. Your ability to establish communications with others is directly related to your ability to gauge how you make that person feel.

Although it can be taxing on your patience, it is always good to start off a little softer with people who may get bent out of shape in the face of a huge personality and lots of words. That is if you care. If you don’t then just barrel on and leave them sputtering in your wake. It is less work to disregard them early since they aren’t going to end up being able to deal with you anyway. Invest in people who appreciate the sideshow that is the loud girl.

If you end up in an interaction where you do have to care, then it is time to “Check your Privilege”. Are you coming from a position of perceived power? People use very fast judgement indicators about who you are. Your age, status, clothing, car, body language, vocabulary and if you are female, your body. This is particularly important in business environments but also true in personal interactions. You have to practice wielding it or dialing it back. It shouldn’t be accidental.

Never let it be a mystery as to why somebody doesn’t like you. It is also ok not to be liked. (Gasp!). People who are universally liked don’t tend to have opinions that bother anybody. That is a safe place to be for sure. Making no waves is how you win friends, it is not how to influence people.

Men are admired for their strength of conviction. Women struggle with it, and are generally the most vicious guardians of making nice with each other. Screw nice. Scary has more interesting stories. Being direct without injuring is a very good skill to learn, and takes practice. Reaching out to people’s hearts is a way of attaching them to you. That tool isn’t to be used lightly, genuine interactions are the hallmark of a strong person, don’t ever compromise on that.

I often write to my younger self, and this is one of those issues. Many years of self-flagellation came from wondering why I couldn’t make progress with certain people, and that one should be able to have everybody like you. Getting real with the fact that there are people out there who can’t deal with it, and that it is not within your power to change how they feel can be so freeing. Drop the ideal and focus on your own talents skills and knowledge. Because if you are loud and not well informed you are just another asshole. If you are going to be out there, be prepared to bring it. The people who are drawn to you from that moment on will be the ones that are worth it.

(This post originally ran on Magnolia Ripkin Advice Blog)

Magnolia Ripkin
Author

Our Editor-in-Chief Magnolia Ripkin is sort of like your mouthy Aunt who drinks too much and tells you how to run your life, except funny... well mostly funny... like a cold glass of water in the face. She writes a flagrantly offensive blog at Magnolia Ripkin Advice Blog answering pressing questions about business, personal development, parenting, heck even the bedroom isn't safe. She is the Editor in Chief at BluntMoms. Other places to find her: Huffington Post, The Mighty and Modern Loss. You can also check her out in two amazing compendiums of bloggers who are published in “I Just Want To Be Alone.” And most recently, Martinis and Motherhood, Tales of Wonder, Woe and WTF

8 Comments

  1. Jill Robbins

    This is probably my favorite thing you’ve ever written…and because the picture is just so incredibly cool. I’d rather hang with this girl than the ripped abs dude on the 50-Shades piece next to this one on the page.

    In all seriousness…yes to all of this. I’ve gotten to a place where all of this resonates with me, but I’ve had to grow in to it. I’d always say I was okay with not being liked and that I didn’t take business stuff personally, but I did. I’d be a no-nonsense woman of power on the outside but privately lick my wounds because not being liked did hurt my feelings.

    I don’t set out for people in my professional world to dislike me. I don’t make that my goal. But sometimes it happens and it’s usually because I’m saying something they don’t want to hear or delivering it in a way that contradicts me being a woman.

    I like to be liked. But I don’t have to be liked and I certainly don’t control how anyone else feels or thinks.

    These words were well-timed for me.

    • Magnolia Ripkin

      Thanks for the great support. I know that the scary women always blaze the trail. Best part of it is you only need to be a little bit scary for everybody to quake in their boots.

  2. Alison Tedford

    I love how scary you are. Much needed words. Thank you for standing up for us scary chicks and for being our chief shoe lace untangler and cheerleader.

  3. I love this post and its relevance to all facets of life, but I love it especially because it’s so applicable to our roles as writers, too. The moment we start trying to write something that pleases everyone is the moment we lose our voices. Since 99.9% of the Internet is filled with this fluffy crowd-pleasing bullshit, it’s refreshing to immerse myself in, and be a part of, that other .1%. Which is precisely why I love coming here! I want to hear what people have to say, not what they think they should say.

  4. Three cheers for this post!
    I’ve just now found Blunt Mom.
    I’ve just recently become Scary.
    Coincidence? I think not!

  5. My girlfriends, the one’s I have known since I was quite young, tell me that although they love me dearly, they are always a little afraid. I accept that, I can be a little volitile at times and often get shushed by my teacher friend when I challenge someone’s opinion of me or something I am talking about. It aggravates me when she does this because she is a woman and she is bascially shushing me buying into the stereotye that women should be seen and not heard, especially where men are concerned. That being said, if ever a situation arises that needs a strong voice and presence, yeah, I’m the one that gets pushed to the front of the group to represent!! I am proud to be both beauty and the beast <3 Oh, and I love you <3

    • Magnolia Ripkin

      When scary come from confidence and determination, you can wear it with pride…
      You are the best Mary – brave and scary in equal measure.

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