I can’t even count the number of times I’d been told that I’m trying to be too much, that I’m trying to occupy the place in the world that is reserved strictly for men. Even my own brother, the man I love (almost) the most in the world, has been telling me for years that I should change to become more dependent and eliminate my own strength.
“Why?” I’ve asked him.
“Men like when women are depending on them. You scare them, you’re too independent.”
For years, I thought he was right. I wanted to change, become someone else. I tried to be “more feminine,” more fragile, more vulnerable, more this or more that. I agreed to become a housewife when I was in a relationship with a man who wanted to have this kind of woman beside him. I pretended I didn’t know how to sort things out for myself and needed to wait for the knight in the shining armor to help me. The truth is, after a while, I started to feel like I was choking. It wasn’t my life I was living. I wasn’t useless, helpless primadonna everyone expected me to be. I gave up pretending despite my fear of losing people who mattered to me. And I lost many of those, yes. But they only freed the space for others to come
Here is the thing. You don’t have to change who you are. Not a single bit. For people who love you, you’re perfect the way you are and they love you for your imperfections. Anyone who tells you that you should change before they can love you – walk away from them.
My friend came to me the other day in tears. She’s a very successful, independent woman who shows her vulnerable soul only to those closest to her. Yet, she is struggling in the private part of her life. Her boyfriend had spent that whole evening castigating her for her behavior at a party they had gone to together the previous evening. He accused her of being on display and attracting too much attention. He felt like he was pushed to the corner by her and let her know that.
“He spent a few hours criticizing everything I did,” she cried, “and didn’t mention a single positive thing about me. Why was he doing that?”
Yes, why? Why do men (and only men) feel the need to inform women about everything wrong about them? And why, if they do that, they don’t bother to tell us what we did right?”
Because men are scared.
The world has changed. Traditional roles for women and men that were forced on us for millennia have shifted. Women are not housewives anymore. They are demanding to be equal to men, but even the most liberal men sometimes struggle with this view. The world has changed for men too. They no longer know how to behave, how to ‘court ladies,’ how to approach these ‘new’ women. Are flowers still acceptable? Should the man pay the bill when inviting a woman for coffee? I can say this: we still love to be pampered. We still love to be taken care of. Some of us are just as strong as you, my dear male friends, but that shouldn’t scare you. You should embrace this. We still need your shoulders to cry on when things don’t go our way. Respect us for who we are, not for who you want us to be. If you make us happy, we will make you a thousand times happier in return. As my good friend says, “Happy woman, happy man.”
It takes a strong man to date a strong woman. Not all men out there are strong enough to handle strong-minded women, but they would rather die than to admit it. Nothing beats man’s ego in its size. But…my dear fellow sisters, if a man ever tells you that you’re too strong in his eyes and you should become less of who you are, think twice if you really want to stay with that man. It takes a strong man to date a strong woman and an even stronger man to admit he cannot reach up to that woman. As Michael Reid says, “Sometimes you’ll just be too much woman. Too smart, too beautiful, too strong. Too much of something that makes a man feel like less of a man, which will start making you feel like you have to be less of a woman. The biggest mistake you can make is removing jewels from your crown to make it easier for a man to carry. When this happens, I need you to understand, you do not need a smaller crown – you need a man with bigger hands.”
Find the man who has bigger hands to carry your crown. Don’t let anyone ever try to convince you that you’re too much. If the man next to you feels threatened by your power, please stop and think for a moment if this is the way you want to spend your life.
You’re never too much. Whatever others tell you, you’re enough. Don’t try to be more and don’t be less of who you really are. Do things you want to do for yourself. Build up your own happiness. Stop looking for approval for everything you’re doing. There will always be people scorning you for being too much. Hear them, smile at them . . . and then simply leave them. People who are not capable of taking us the way we are, not even for the sake of learning something from us, don’t deserve us in their lives.
Seek the kind of love that appreciates you for who you are. People who love you will not try to change you. They love you for who you are and, if they ever tell you their opinion about you, they are doing it with the best intentions. They won’t stop loving you just because you decided not to follow their own advice. You are a beautiful, amazing being and if anybody conditions their love for you on their own standards, they don’t love you at all. Stop pretending you are something you are not. Do things you want to do in your heart. Maybe you will lose some people at the beginning but, believe me, many others will show up to fill the place they left empty. Don’t be afraid to be yourself.
People will hurt you and break you thousand times. The stronger personality you are, the more you will be hurt on your way to happiness. There is an old saying: Many people who will cross your path will only try to boost their own ego and break you, many times not even intentionally. And that’s fine. Not being for those obstructions on our way, how could we grow even stronger? Remember, everything happens for a reason. If people hurt you, it has nothing to do with you, it is all about them. Don’t ever let your glory shine less just because you make someone else insecure and they needed to scorn you for that. Be who you are and do what you love. Right people will find their way to you and will stay. Those that are attracted to you by their idea about you, not by real you, will vanish soon anyway.