Friday, January 23, 2015


Words are powerful.  

I'm very choosy when it comes to words.  I love the dictionary and the thesaurus.  Especially now that is at my fingertips on the computer!  Words can have so many different meanings.  Some very close to getting my point across but just not quite right.  

Recently I was called an old mean girl.  A bully.

Which made me think this person thought I was aggressive?  Look at the choices of synonyms.  In my mind, aggressive has mostly negative connotations.  Hostile, belligerent, antagonistic, truculent, pushy.

Assertive, in my mind, is a quality.  A trait for success ... in business and in personal relationships.  Confident, assured, decisive.  I admire assertive people.

My philosophy is to have a conversation.  NOT a confrontation.


  1. The differences in those words were pointed out to me years ago--when I was told to be more assertive and I thought the person meant aggressive. I tend to be neither. What in the world did you say to be termed "mean girl"?.

    1. What I said about this person (no names, mind you) was in a blog a few months ago .... which embarrassed her as the person did a very unethical thing using CONFIDENTIAL list to send personal negative email. Then said they would be glad to rejoin the group ... if we did everything their way.

      The person went throughout the organization raising a ruckus and despite the fact that EVERY word was true, I took the blog down so that it wouldn't get in the way of progress.

      The person continued to be a snotty brat and not share documents, emails, passwords, etc after quitting. But karma is good!

  2. What women can do to get labeled one way (negative) a man can do and get labeled another way (positive). The definitions seem to shift with gender. I don't see that changing in my life time. Guys can have heated conversations and he'd almost be admired for his ability to stand up for whatever. A woman could have the same heated conversation and it would be labeled confrontational.

    Judy, pay attention, it was in the last blog. LOL

    1. Ha! I re-wrote the previous post and left that personal part out. Don't want to stoop to her level.

      I totally agree with the gender labels! Mr. Ralph and I had many discussions on the topic. Spot on!

  3. When we moved to MD many years ago, I became friends with two assertive women. I learned so much from watching them and how they handled uncomfortable or unfair situations or even negotiating with others. They were fair but did not allow others to walk over them or take advantage of them. No passive-aggressive antics for those two. I agree with Jean about gender playing a part in the perception of aggressiveness versus assertiveness. I think you had the guts to call someone on their bad behavior and she didn't like it one bit.

  4. It's takes conscious effort to be assertive. The most important thing I've learned is saying less is best. If I am not available and need to say NO, I no longer say "No because I don't have the time" wherein the asking person can try to argue how this won't take very much time.

    So now I just say no. Nicely but every time from every angle.