Your ability to be confident is DIRECTLY correlated to your ability to feel and speak on behalf of your anger. If you can’t or won’t allow yourself to get angry, you douse your fire–that inner warrior who rises up in defense of something sacred.
Your anger is also connected to your confidence…and I’ll got farther to say “arrogance”; it says, “hey! I’m the most important thing here!” This is basically the opposite of what women have been raised to believe. We’re caretakers and emotional nurturers and so on. And we’re also taught to put ourselves last, after the spouse and the kids and the job.
But without a healthy arrogance, you end up not fighting for yourself and your ideas. You back down more readily, because you don’t want to start an argument and you don’t want people to think you’re “difficult,” “emotional,” or least of all, “angry.” And this fear of how we are perceived, along with our fear of the conflict that would arise, keeps women from advocating for the changes that we see NEED to happen.
I used to be scared of my own anger. I was scared of being thought of as a bitch. I was scared that I was “too big for my britches” and I sometimes got called “bossy.” There’s a HUGE societally-reenforced movement to keep women from their anger, and I’d say it’s global.
This is what I’ve been called to teach about, and I’ve come to learn that to really help the thousands, or hopefully millions, of women I want to help, I have to allow myself to be more arrogant. And in order to do that, I HAD to learn how to handle conflict, because not backing down and apologizing means I’m going to get into more frequent difficult conversations. This kind of strength can be intimidating for some people, and jealousy-provoking for some others.
But this isn’t all about me. I am a messenger who was willing to say Yes to this and to do the work. This calling is about all of us–we all need to be freed from our fears of our own power so that we can bring our different ways of seeing the world and working solutions to the global conversations. The world desperately needs us women to balance things back into health. And yes, there’s an arrogance in being able to say, “folks, YOU CANNOT SOLVE THIS PROBLEM WITHOUT ME.”
And yeah, that’s gonna bring up conflict. People in power like to stay in power, as they said in history class. So we all need help learning to stand for our beliefs in a stronger way. I remember in Miss Representation, one of the senators they interviewed (maybe Diane Feinstein?) said, “If there are no women in the room, the men are going to make the wrong decision.”
I believe women fear conflict because we’ve been so systemically separated from our healthy anger (and confidence and arrogance). Plus, we’ve never been taught ANY kind of method for handling conflict, other than “tend and befriend.” (Ugh. Can you see how “other-focused” that is?) So we have all these other ways of dealing with the natural feelings of anger that, of course, come up, whether we want them or not.