Have you been called names during your life, some of which still have the ability to hurt today? So much depends on how you hear the names and how you define them. That can change as you age—and as you realize you have a choice about what to accept. Names can hurt—but you can also find ways to reframe many of them or simply choose to not accept them as a way to define you.
I saw a blog yesterday on the Queen of Your Own Life website that said, "People said she was strong-willed. And she chose to take it as a compliment."
The blog went on to say: "People will say all kinds of things about you in your life. Some will be compliments and others will be hurtful, perhaps. But we cannot control what other people think or do. We can only control how we respond. We proclaim that strong-willed is a wonderful attribute. So are tenacious, stubborn, hard-headed and bossy. Let's reclaim the language others use to describe women and find the golden nugget in each word, shall we?"
I like this advice. You've probably experienced that yourself. I know I have. Sometimes a trait exhibited by a woman is named in a derogatory fashion whereas when exhibited by a man, it's a positive trait. Take some of the examples in the quote. "Bossy" in a woman often is called "good leadership" in a man. Or "strong-willed" in a man is called "purposeful" and "assertive."
Rather than bemoan this reality, you and I can choose to reclaim language and not allow it to define us negatively. You and I get to choose how we respond. Choice: Isn't it a beautiful thing?