From Nice Girl to Kind Woman

Photo credit at end of post

Recently I’ve been feeling on the verge of … something. An internal change. There is that change, of course (I am 51). And maybe this is connected. Regardless, it feels potentially big.

I just can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

My inbox offered an important clue this morning in the form of a new blog post from Kristen Lamb: “Good Girls Don’t Become Best-Sellers—Channeling Your Inner ‘Bad Girl’ to Reach Your Dreams.” She writes, “We must learn to stuff a sock in the inner Good Girl’s mouth and channel that inner Bad Girl because she is dying to get out more. Being a Bad Girl doesn’t mean we aren’t still kind and gracious, but it does mean things are going to change.”

From Kristen’s conclusion:

Do you see any “Good Girl” behaviors that have been undermining you? Do you have a hard time calling yourself a…writer? Do you have a hard time with the notion of social media because the thought of admitting you have a dream scares you spit-less? Have you bothered to get a domain name, a website? Blog? Are you afraid to ask for what you want? Do you put everyone and everything ahead of your writing? Are you waiting for permission? Do you feel like you are a poseur or a fake? Do you struggle with perfectionism? Read more…

Women aren’t alone in these kinds of self-doubts, of course, but Kristen’s piece is a must-read especially for women, and especially for women like me whose high school years were filled with “You’re a nice girl! Stay just the way you are.”

Nice is different from kind. Nice implies compliance, never making waves, saying “yes” to every request, shying from anything that could bring judgment, subsuming our own priorities every single time (or not even knowing what those priorities are).

Kindness is deeper, more meaningful. It implies conscious decisions, emotional strength, taking responsibility for our choices, knowing that those choices will sometimes make others unhappy or uncomfortable, embracing empathy but not at the expense of our own well-being or personal growth, knowing that we can be good people even when others are disappointed.

Do you have a story or thoughts about the journey from nice, compliant girl to kind, strong woman?

Photo credit: Ballet 3 by Rolands Lakis (CC BY 2.0)

2 thoughts on “From Nice Girl to Kind Woman

  1. So much to think about… Your point about the difference between “nice” and “kind” is a good and important one. I’ve been saying “yes” to a few too many things lately, and then I find myself feeling resentful about the claims on my time. Making more conscious decisions, as you mention, would be a way to avoid mindlessly committing and then regretting it. Great post, Lisa!

    • Thanks, Mary! The article struck a deep chord with where I am right now. You are right that making conscious decisions–pausing and saying “I’ll think about that and let you know”–does wonders.

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