Sadly, it’s still a familiar situation in 2015: When a woman worries about upsetting the apple cart, so to speak, if she dares to ask for something she wants, she is buying into the ages-old “good girl” syndrome. You’ve got to be a good girl, right?, attending to the needs of others rather than your own, to keep in the good graces of your family or co-workers. To be liked, of course. And goddess forbid if they don’t like us, if they think we’re not “nice.”
In their now-classic book, Too Good for Her Own Good, Claudia Bepko and Jo-Ann Krestan urged women to move from the old “Code of Goodness” to a new “Code of Balance.”
As you’re thinking about how you relate to others in your life, at home and at work, are there moments when you’re too extremely focused on the needs of the other person, ignoring (or repressing) your own needs, and putting yourself into an unsustainable un-balance? If so, consider Bepko & Krestan’s description of women who are in balance:
“Be comfortable: A woman in balance values feeling good more than looking good.
Be direct: A woman in balance is honest about how she feels.
Be responsive: A woman in balance empathizes with others.
Be nurturing: A woman in balance empowers herself and others.
Be firm: A woman in balance sets limits.”
And then ask yourself, how can I leave behind the debilitating need to be “good”?