Last night while my husband and I were watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, I asked him to hit pause. Something on the screen had called to mind a very funny email I'd received earlier and I wanted to share it with him. It was an except from Sarah Cooper's upcoming book "How to be Successful without Hurting Men's Feelings". I found the email, quickly scrolled through it and started laughing.
The kind of laughter that is accompanied with lots of head shaking.
The kind of laughter that calls to mind the phrase "If you don't laugh, you'll cry."
The kind of laughter that can open the door to an important conversation.
Here...check out a few to see what I mean.
My husband scrolled through the incisive comics, with a look of horror on his face, he said "This isn't funny..... this sh*t rings true." I agreed that the cartoons describe reality for untold numbers of women in the workforce. That's the rub. Perception is reality. So what's a smart assertive woman to do? Dumb it down? Diminish ourselves to get what we want? Accept less? Some may argue that's the smart pragmatic move.
Others (like me) routinely encourage women and men (but mostly women, admittedly) to not conflate being assertive with being aggressive. I'm 100% in favour of using assertive language, not aggressive language nor weak language. I don't believe we should feel pressured to diminish ourselves to get our ideas across. I believe we should be aware of the possible misperceptions our strong language choices may throw off and have candid conversations aimed at correcting them.
I believe Sarah Cooper has given us fuel to start conversations that are the perfect accompaniment to our assertive language choices. What do you think?