How 7 women stopped caring if people call them a bitch for taking charge

Being a woman in power is a Catch 22.

On one hand, you’re in power – yay! On the other hand, you likely have to deal with sexism on the daily, whether that’s in the form of harassment, male co-workers telling you to smile, or men constantly interrupting you.

Oh, and there’s also the fun thing where any woman who stands up for herself gets called a bitch, whereas men are constantly commended for being “assertive” and “grabbing the bull by the horns.”

While you can try to walk the fine line between domineering and doormat, the better advice would be to stop giving a fuck about what people call you behind your back and worry about being a good person who gets shit done. Because if you know that you’re not a bitch, it won’t matter what anyone else says about you.

Some bosses took to Reddit to explain how they stopped caring about people disliking them for standing up for themselves, here’s some of their best advice.

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1. Learn to say no

“You can’t control what anyone thinks so you may as well just do what you want,” says Reddit user fifthchevron. “Assertive should [mean being] firm but polite, no need to steamroll over anyone’s ideas or opinions. You just learn to say no and mean it. Anyone who can’t handle that is immature anyway, so who needs their validation?”

True! Learning to say no is a serious skill. Whether it’s going on a date with that creepy neighbor out of pity or taking on an extra project at work that you have zero time for, learn to say no if you don’t want to do it! It’s your life, remember?

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2. Say “Boy, Bye”

“If someone dislikes you purely for stating your needs, I don’t think that’s really someone that you want to be liked by anyway,” says Reddit user Cardboardkitty. “Most of the time I’d much rather be respected anyway.”

Great point. This may not be able to be applied in situations where you have to deal with someone, like a co-worker or family member, but in terms of friends and relationships: all systems go. If a guy ever calls you a bitch for not doing something you don’t want to do, he doesn’t deserve your time.

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3. Remember you can’t please everyone

“Someone will always dislike you whatever you do,” says Reddit user ConnieC60. “It’s unavoidable, even if you’re the nicest person on earth.”


4. Know yourself

“It’s kind of paradoxical, but in a way, not caring about what people think is actually the way to gain respect and fulfill yourself at the same time,” says Reddit user lemontartlemontart. “If you’re being fair and reasonable, asserting yourself can only lead to good things, and anyone who dislikes you for that was probably going to drag you down with their ‘approval’ anyway.”

Obviously, not caring about what other people think is easier said than done, but if you’re confident in who you are, you’ll care less about what other people think. If you know in your heart that you’re kind, fair, loyal, smart, whatever, you will stop letting other people’s opinions affect you.

5. Practice makes perfect

“The more you assert yourself, the easier it becomes,” says Reddit user fuddydudd.”It’s a social skill that takes practice, for sure, but once you do it a few times you’d be shocked at the confidence that starts to come with it.

“Like the top comment in the thread said, you don’t need to be an asshole to assert yourself! You can communicate your needs/etc politely, but clearly and firmly. And the best way to learn how to do that is practice, practice, practice.”

No better time to practice being assertive than the present!

6. Take on a role

“I read something on Reddit once where someone would pretend they were someone else. Someone that they pictured as assertive (like Hillary Clinton or something). They would practice at home by themselves,” said Reddit user sarcazm.

She continued:

“I would start small and with practice, it will start become more natural. Be more assertive with people you don’t know. Assertive does not equal mean, BTW. More assertive with your waiter, retail worker, etc. You’ll probably never see them again. And then once you get comfortable with that, move on to acquaintances, and then coworkers, and then friends, and then family.”

Studies have proved that this is true, so next time you’re trying to be a boss, imagine you’re Samantha Jones.

7. Don’t accept defeat

It’s easy to resign yourself and say, “Guys are just naturally more assertive,” but that’s not necessarily true. Women have been taught to be polite, quiet, and meek for centuries. What can be learned can be unlearned. And even if you’re naturally shy and timid, you can train yourself to be the assertive boss you want to be, I promise!

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