The well behaved women’s dilemma

What is a well behaved  woman’s dilemma?  That she wants to be every woman.  She wants to please everyone in her circle.  To stop water drops from making rings.   Polite, smooth, and clear as glass.

A polite woman doesn't stand out, photo taken in NYC by Jennifer Duchene

The Polite Woman becomes invisible.  Changing shape so many times, she has no backbone.   That was me.  Always saying after you.  Waiting at the Someday Bus Stop.  For a ride out to the big scare me island, that was never coming.

Constant shape shifter, moving backwards in a dance of love and guilt.
Polite women hide their feelings.  They keep the gloves on.  Engage with the enemy so much they become spies for the establishment. The give up the me, to be a team player. Fixing, carrying and rooting for the group.  Saying yes to everyone else, forgetting the voice of self.

They keep the world in check, minding their manners, and everyone else’s.

Slipping beneath the surface of overwhelm.  Choking in the weeds of silence.  Swallowing all that dirty river water on a raft going to Polite Woman’s Hell.

Are you being too polite to stand up for what you believe in?  To polite to let go of what damages you, in your fear of saying No! to someone else?   Worried about disappointing those who rely on you?
Afraid that you are not enough?

I am a Polite Woman who has created the guide to Radical Rediscovery,

and wrote “Le Chic Cocoon” because after years of swallowing and stuffing down fear and my own needs, I got booted to the curb.  With nothing left to show.  Nothing to be, nothing to hold.  Stripped naked.  Standing in the light.  Someday had arrived and I had not a  single thing to ask for.  I had no idea what I wanted, who I was, or who would see me lurking in the shadows of my life.  My biggest fears were realized.

Venus rises in every woman when she goes inward to be.

And I remember the poetic words of Dylan Thomas  “Rage, rage against the dying of the light”  Every life brings sustenance  to the soil, nutrients of being.  Hold hope in your arms, the bliss of being alive and making choices about where to stand, and how to stop the bus, as she rounds the bend, is powerful.  This is your life, step up and grab the strap, dance as she sways and snakes up the road.  Look back if you must, your baggage is being covered in dust, forgotten at the curb.

Burn your fire.

What do you think?  Are you too polite for your own good? Or do you feel just right?.  Are you holding on to hope for other’s? Manipulating dreams because you fear standing alone?  Do you know the sound of  your yes?

Join in the conversations and share your thoughts with a comment below,

Joie de vivre.


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The well behaved women’s dilemma — 8 Comments

  1. Once, long ago I finally came to the same conclusions as you describe above. Then the fiesty girl was born, and a brand new dance step created, haven’t been the same since.

  2. This is a most inspiring post Jen! Very thought provoking and intelligent. I think I have grabbed the strap and am dancing to a new and very different tune in my own life these past two plus years. In my work and now in my life also. As I read your thoughtful post, what came over me was the feeling that in this new creative pursuit of mine ~ to be, to dare and dream and watch and walk in all of the discomfort of newness, and change and reactions to it as you sit with it all in quiet moments, is how really out of place you can feel whilst you try to find what your place really is or will become. I have a sense of unease so often, and almost a loneliness that I don’t quite fit anywhere anymore, or at the moment, my path leads some where entirely new and as yet not fully revealed. In moments I doubt, in quiet times they are so often noisy and disruptive, but in stronger others, I see the sun of my thoughts and ideas, and so I keep going. I know that I am meant to be engineering something different with my time here, to create and even lead. And so in bank balance diminish, and tired mind and body, and in heart so often deflated and in distress, enough spark remains within to ignite another, and another, and another! Until encouraged on by all that I can find within, I start to find others who also feel as I, and spur and lead me onward to what is next. The landscape and all its colours and textures begins to shift. What can be is becoming more crystallized, more solid. This feeling of silent endless waiting whilst real efforts made seem only placed in the shadows, is always worth it! What is yet to be seen and felt ~ is always worth it ~ because I am rising behind and within it to something greater! It is always better to try to do more and be more and feel more…always!!! The reward in effort is always something so bright, so radiant, so unexpected. To find what you can discover about the abilities and tenacity and capacity within the self is a jewel and cradle of gifts!

    • Dear Jacqueline, what a beautiful inspiring comment. Thank you so much for sharing. I cant tell you how much your words touched me. So glad to hear that all the effort is worth it because of what it brings you. And you write so beautifully – I totally agree “that the reward is always something so radiant and unexpected.” Sending you a big hug and know that you are seen and appreciated for all that you are doing. MWAH.

  3. I am no longer the Polite, Well Behaved Woman! Hallelujah! I am almost at the 2 year anniversary of my emancipation and I have not looked back with regret even once! I am no longer the door mat I once was!

    • Hallelujah! So happy you are no longer a doormat. What a victorious celebration Brenda. We should have a party at the two year mark Mwah!!!

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