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12 Reasons Why You Don’t Need To Apologize For Being A Strong Woman

12 Reasons Why You Don’t Need To Apologize For Being A Strong Woman

I grew up in a family of strong women. Grandma Millie, Grandma Lois, Great Gramma Gertrude, Great Gramma Lola. They were all incredibly tenacious, loving, and resilient. My mom and my sister are both amazing women as well. It seems to be in our genes. I also happen to have a lot of amazing friends who are strong women.

We’re a feisty bunch. Full of passion, creativity, determination, and guts — and we’re not alone. There’s a whole tribe of strong, passionate women who are inextricably linked together and pulling each other up as we go.

You know who you are…

You don’t back down easily. You make fierce friends, mothers, and lovers. You get sh*t done. You’re clear about what you want out of life and you know how to ask for what you need. You know how to say “No.”

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The challenge with being a strong woman is that folks misconstrue your passions, your resolve, and your tenacity for a myriad of other things. Nine times out of ten, it’s the other person’s insecurities, limiting beliefs, and narrow perspectives about what’s possible that has them judging you and the amazing things you’re creating in your world.

Here are 12 reasons why, as a strong woman, you should never have to apologize.

Reason #1: “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”
wear your confidence

    Tall or short, skinny or full figured, you love yourself and it shows. This doesn’t mean you’re egotistical or arrogant, it means you’re confident in who you are and comfortable in your own skin. For those of you who haven’t quite arrived at this amazing space of self-love, keep looking, it’s in you.

    Reason #2: You know who you are and what you want in your life.

    You’re clear on who you are and what you want out of life. You’re also clear on what is unacceptable, intolerable, and inexcusable. Because of this, your “no” really does mean No. You’re clear on your choices. Unless of course, you choose to change your mind.

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    Reason #3: Yes, you run like a girl (because you ARE a girl). 
    Run like a girl - keep up!

      Just because you’re a woman, doesn’t mean you’re not competitive. Nor does it mean that you don’t like to win. You’re not aggressive, you’re spirited, unwavering, and cunning. And you get to use all of your feminine characteristics to your advantage!

      Reason #4: You’re determined, driven, and focused on your goals.

      In the boys club, this makes men a rock star, successful, and “in demand.” For a woman, it often gets translated to being “bitchy,” or “arrogant.” Being feisty, resolute, and steadfast towards your goals is just the way to get things done.

      Reason #5: You’re hella smart and you have an opinion.

      In today’s world, women have to work harder than men and yet earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. All the while women are now 33% more likely to graduate from college. Because of this disadvantage, you’ve learned to work smarter, you’re assertive, and you aren’t shy about sharing your opinions, knowledge, and expertise with others.

      Reason #6: You’re the glue that holds it all together.

      Just because you’re organized, timely, and neat doesn’t mean you’re a control freak or bossy. It’s because you’re so orderly that you can juggle so many things at once: taking care of the kids, the partner, the employees, and still keeping your head attached to the rest of your body. This is a talent to be admired, not diminished.

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      Reason #7: Your priorities are just that, your priorities.

      Everyone has their own path in life to take. How you walk along your path, based on your passions, purpose, and priorities, is your choice. No matter whether it’s your mother who has an opinion about what steps you should take next or a friend or colleague, you inherently know what is best for you and how to manage your time. Thank them for their input and advice, and keep on moving forward to the beat of your own drum.

      Reason #8: You’re a fierce warrior and a compassionate sister/mother/friend.

      I Am Woman

        As a woman, you have an enormous capacity for love and caring for others. It’s actually coded into your DNA to nurture and build community. You also can be fiercely protective of those you care about, organizations you believe in, or simply fighting for those who are vulnerable to predators. When the momma bear comes out, everyone else should sit up and take note.

        Reason #9: You’re sexy and you know it.

        You’ve heard the saying “it’s a man’s world,” right? Well, it still is in many ways, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your full feminine power to your career. As a woman, the more comfortable you are in your own skin, the more attractive you become. And when you operate from this more feminine-yet-powerful place, you’ll have everyone in the rooming paying attention.

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        Reason #10: You’re a leader, period.
        Sheryl Sandbert

          As Sheryl Sandberg once said, “ In the future there will be no female leaders. There will only be leaders.”

          The future starts today. You are a leader, a risk taker, a strategic thinker who is happy and capable of going toe-to-toe with any man in the room. You stand up for yourself and you stand up for those around you who need your support, your voice, your guidance, because that’s what leaders do.

          Reason #11: You’re strong and independent, yet soft, sensitive, and intuitive.

          I am a strong woman and proud of it.

            You have learned over the years to depend on yourself, your intuition, and your higher self to guide you along your path. You feel deeply and sense the emotions of those around you, and even simple things can move you to tears. You trust your gut and speak your truth. Your intuition is a tool, use it to your advantage.

            Reason #12: You are authentically, wholeheartedly yourself.
            women-pillars of community

              You know that secretly (or not so secretly) your parents, your family, or even your culture all have expectations about how you are supposed to show up in the world – what kind of career you’ll have, who is the “right” person for you to marry and have kids with, and how life is “supposed” to look for you. You, on the other hand, know who you are authentically and are creating life in your own way, writing your own rules, speaking your truth, and living your life fully — without apology or regret. This is your way to be the best version of you that is happy from the inside out.

              Life is short. Be yourself — without apology.

              Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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              Last Updated on January 15, 2019

              What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

              What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

              When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

              Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

              It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

              While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

              Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

              What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

              How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

              It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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              People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

              “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

              In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

              Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

              As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

              When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

              It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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              What are Interpersonal Skills?

              Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

              In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

              From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

              For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

              Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

              How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

              There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

              There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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              Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

              I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

              Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

              “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

              Don’t overlook introspection.

              While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

              Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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              When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

              Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

              “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

              The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

              The Bottom Line

              You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

              Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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