Better Words for Women

One of my regular readers challenged me recently after reading my post, All in a Huff over Vocabulary Reserved for Women. She asked me to come up with alternate vocabulary—words that weren’t disparaging or downright insulting. I think that’s an excellent idea. Challenge accepted!

For example: How about passionate instead of easy, asking for it, slutty, tease, tart, or loose?

Caring or quite likely disagreeing with you would be preferable to hysterical, hormonal, emotional, neurotic, moody, touchy, irrational, sensitive, fretting, whiny or illogical.

Disinterested in you is probably much more accurate than frigid or prude. (And deep down you probably know that already.)

Annoyed, frustrated, righteously indignant, or just mean, depending on the circumstances, would be better than huffy, bitchy, irritable, brassy, shrill, catty, headstrong, cat fight, intense, ball buster, shrew, high strung, nag, fishwife, bossy, nasty, abrasive, or pushy.

Perhaps you might consider distracted, busy or overwhelmed instead of flaky, airhead, or ditsy.

Here’s a thought: How about not commenting on age or physical appearance at all, rather than using the terms jail bait, blonde, brunette, plus sized, or little?

How about earnest or sincere instead of breathless or adoring?

Have you ever thought that perhaps someone described as too ambitious, high maintenance, or a diva is actually decisive, confident and knows what she wants?

In addition, gossipy could be communicative, mousey could be noncommunicative or undecided, and bubbly could be enthusiastic.

Gold diggers, in my experience, are either grossly misunderstood or selfish con artists.

And if you think all of the above is not bad for a girl, how about just saying not bad?

Food for thought, I hope. Happy Thanksgiving.

Michelle Obama was the first person to pop into my head when I was thinking of admirable women. Who do you admire?

A great gift for the woman you’re most grateful for. Check out my book.


Self-Deprecation — Your Brain Hears You

I have this theory. There’s a part of your brain that takes in what you hear and assumes it to be fact. My theory is that that goes double for what it hears coming out of your own mouth. Sure, what you say is generated by your brain, but the choice to actually say it is kind of a form of validation. In other words, if you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

For some reason many of us think it’s charming to be self-deprecating. But I’m telling you, your brain hears you when you put yourself down. You might be laughing as you say, “I’m so stupid,” or “Women are just not into me,” but a little part of your head is just hearing the words and taking them in as reality. In the long run, that is going to hurt you.

We are often more cruel to ourselves than we would ever be to others. That’s not funny. That’s not charming. It’s just wrong. Self-abuse is still abuse. Why don’t you deserve as much courtesy and kindness as you would afford a loved one, a guest, or a stranger in distress? You can, should, and MUST become your own cheerleader!

That’s my theory for the day.


Be Nicer to Yourself

I made some offhanded self-deprecating remark the other day, probably about my weight, and it brought tears to a friend’s eyes. That stunned me. I don’t always think about the impact my words have. These were tears of frustration that I don’t see myself the way that she sees me.

I tend not to take myself very seriously, so when others do, it takes me by surprise. And in this particular incident it really made me think. If my words about me were toxic to her, how toxic were they to my subconscious? How much damage am I doing to my psyche when I self-insult? Does my heart take me more seriously than I do?

And I’m fairly certain when I do this, more than half the time I’m not even aware of it. It’s like I’m injecting myself with carcinogens in my sleep or something. I really need to pay more attention.

I have another friend who is downright brutal to herself. And she’s a kind person. She would never talk about anyone else the way she talks about herself. Why? Because she wouldn’t want to hurt someone. Why does she not deserve the same courtesy? If you can’t be nice to yourself, why should anyone else be nice to you?

Yes, I’m a flawed human being. Yes, there are things I’d love to change, but probably won’t. But the truth is I’m actually pretty great. I’m loving and intelligent and funny and compassionate. I need to start saying these things out loud more often. I deserve to hear it. We all do.

So give yourself a compliment. Right now! Good habits have to start somewhere.