Business in the front, party in the back. Why do some of us feel like we must act differently at work then we do at home and outside of the workplace?
I recently discovered that although I can be quiet and shy at times, my overall personality cannot be defined as docile, nice and reserved. I am proud of the woman I have become and the person I am growing into however, the essence of Reeda can't be encapsulated into just one word. I've also discovered that being kind can sometimes cause others to think they can walk all over you. Not so. Here is why:
I've had a few instances in my career where I have been "tried." I've had certain bosses who have thought it was ok to gang up on me, think it was ok to target me yet let others slide by while doing the same exact thing they complained I was doing. Ignore my concerns, discriminate against me and just plainly mistreat me. This caused me to withdraw and put on a protective shell at my place of employment. I would engage in small conversation yet I never REALLY opened up nor felt comfortable. After a few years, I found myself unhappy, drained and needing an escape from work. I finally decided to leave and although I've had challenges, I don't regret leaving. My sanity and emotional well-being thank me and affirm my decision often.
As an African American woman, I feel that I can be harshly criticized while others aren't. I've personally witnessed others getting away with not performing well and yet other's moves are scrutinized. I remember a former supervisor saying to me "I don't if it's how your grew up, but they way you speak is unacceptable" or something to that effect. Really? So because I'm direct that equates to being "too strong" or "too outspoken?" Get a clue.
Yes, it is important to have and maintain a certain level of decorum. However, it is also important to be true to yourself. After "wearing a mask" for so long, you can begin to feel stuck, lost and just plain icky for feeling like you have to pretend to be someone so unlike yourself just so you're liked or accepted. As I type this I remind myself of this too. The truth is, I have struggled with this. I continue to. I am also learning that I am grown and a beautiful person and if you are really interested, you will get to know me. If you're interested in being a well evolved person you will begin to learn that everyone is unique for a reason. Our background, hurts, pains, childhood and experiences shape who we are. Do not allow people to walk all over you because you're kind; stand up for your rights and be strong.
There's no need to have a facade. Just be you, be kind and respect others!
Can you identify with this post? Why not share and comment? I would love to hear from you!
Salaam and Peace
Farida T. Dawkins
U.S. Air Force Reservist and Blogger
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