Forget Santa: being a good girl is overrated

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First things first,  I teach my own kids to be “good” and conform.  A measure of compliance is, of course, important and valuable.

But what do we lose by carrying that pressure to be “good” into adulthood?

If you’re a woman you’ve likely been trained to be easy to get along with and “nice”.  This keeps us safe, predictable, and controlled.  We exhaust ourselves keeping up with this ideal of what it means to be good.  And who the heck has time for that?

The over-achieving, people pleasing, polite persona that I project to the world doesn’t always serve me.  Sure, it’s helped me get credentialed, helped me keep a job, helps me get along with others.  But it hasn’t made me happy or free or even safe.

In fact, I had a revelation the other day:

What gives me most satisfaction I discovered through an impulse that had nothing to do with being good.

The areas of my life where I feel most connected and alive derive from a creative drive.

  • My children were certainly not conceived during a good girl moment.  They were conceived in love (and maybe some lust too).
  • My motivation to become an educator was inspired by a desire to change things.  No one around me thought I should become a teacher.  I became one out of an objection to inequality and injustice.
  • My work as a coach is emboldened by my desire to heal and connect with other women.  I had to pursue this path without the approval or permission of those closest to me.
  • To become a dance instructor I risked criticism.  (And I’ll let you ask anyone who comes to my classes whether we act like good girls or not.)

To live a more full life:

I had to resist being a good girl.  I had to rebel.  I had to do my own thing.  

I still find myself letting the good girl persona taking over.  I feel shame when my sassy, bold, bitchy self emerges, uninvited and unannounced.

I no longer care  about making Santa’s naughty or nice list.  I’m reminded that life is way more meaningful, profound and satisfying when I say screw the good girl stuff.

6 thoughts on “Forget Santa: being a good girl is overrated

  1. Elo! I love this post, it is so true and right on. Thank you for reminding us, for giving us permission to be bold, sassy, and devil-may-care. Living by example, always. Blessed holidays! Much love.

  2. Elo, I agree whole-heartedly. I feel the most joy when I am doing something that satisfies me and is likely not approved by those closest to me. Being true to myself is not easy when the pressure to “be nice” is so pervasive. But I know that it is essential and deeplly fulfilling and it keeps me going :)

  3. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand.
    It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang
    of it!

  4. Bold, Vivacious, Free, Independent, Risk!!! Live life to the fullest without obligations to please people. Thank you Elo for reminding us of the “good naughty girl” phenomena.

  5. I’m currently struggling with avoiding alienating people I only know peripherally — and I find myself rewording and holding my tongue. I’m not sure that qualifies as being a “good girl” at all, but it seems to be prudent right now. Especially when dealing with potential loons.

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