7 Ways to Get In Touch With Your Inner Bitch



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I don’t know about you, but for the longest
time, I was afraid of my inner bitch.

In
the
old suppressed, sexist tradition of 'you’re either a whore or a saint', girls are too often taught that we are either 'nice' or 'bitches' and
never the twain shall
meet. (Guys might struggle with this too although I think boys have a slight advantage because generally  they are allowed to be angry, whereas girls – not so much.)

Given all this,
it is not surprising that when I was growing up I felt it necessary to
suppress any snarkiness. It was hard when what I really wanted to do
was say something catty or roll my eyes or even admit out loud that I
was so much hotter than Lisa, my high school nemesis. Good girls just didn't do that!

Was I evil
because sometimes the shrew just had to make an appearance?  It was
confusing back then when anything that come out of my mouth with a
sharp edge was taken as anger and nice girls just didn't get angry.
They cried. If I had a nickel for
every time my brothers called me a bitch, I’d have a nice plump mutual
fund. And, as you probably know, being
called a bitch, when all you want to be is a nice girl, is like being
slapped in
the face. Naturally, I tried to avoid it.

What’s
a nice girl to do? I don't recommend being hard on yourself (like I was), especially if, at heart, you know
you are a truly nice person.

Think
if it this way:

1.  Don’t be afraid of your bitchiness. Contrary to what
your mother told you, you can be nice with sass. The bitch will not take over.

2.  If you’re feeling snarky think of it as comic
relief
or the spice that makes a ‘nice’ girl interesting.
Our inner bitch is usually edgy and funny if you give her a chance.

3. 
You don’t have to say it out loud. Give yourself
permission to be as bitchy as you want
to yourself. As long as no one's
being hurt, mumbling or rolling your eyes out of anyone's view is OK.
"Did you just say Maureen is a whore?" [Did I say that out loud?] "OH NO! I just said she's such a
bore!" Or…

4.  Confide your not nice comments to a trusted confidant who
gets it. Just be really, really careful about email or texts. You never know where they will go next.

5.  Only you should be allowed to call yourself a bitch in a serious manner. If anyone else says that you are being "a bitch" without a trace of humor, or badly disguised as teasing, think about it. Is it possible they
are uncomfortable for another reason? Does your anger make them squirm? Is keeping you "nice" a way of exerting control over
you? There is power in expressing righteous anger, could they be afraid of yours?

6. Choose a partner who appreciates all sides of you, including your inner bitch. Early in our marriage my husband observed that I had just cleaned the dishes. He said, "Good girl!"  I snarled back, "What am I, Lassie?" He burst out laughing, and I smiled back because I knew I had a chosen well.

7.  Most important: Trust yourself to keep healthy limits on
your inner bitch. You will not go overboard.

So let the bitch out. Set her free! Feel the power and enjoy! Believe me, it will be a relief to finally let her go and be your own good – and nice – self.

Originally published October 2009 by Dr. Aletta as  5 Ways to Get In Touch with Your Inner Bitch

Ten More Rules for Living with Chronic Illness



Last month Deb, who lives with neurocardiogenic
syncope, wrote to me:

I just read your interview on beliefnet.com, "5 Rules for Living with Chronic
Illness & Depression."
  Your advice was right on point – I wish
I had had it eight years ago!

…Anyway, you said you wanted to offer your readers guidance to
living with chronic illness.  I've come up with a couple of "rules"
that help me stay on track – you probably already know them, but I'll
offer them anyway:

  1. Try to get up at the same time every day.  It's not always
    possible.  Heck, it's not always possible to get out of bed! 
    But try.
  2. Shower, get dressed (sweatpants aren't allowed), brush your
    teeth and put on a little make-up.  The simple act of trying to
    LOOK human often almost makes me FEEL human.
  3. Don't play too many computer games.  It's tempting to spend hours
    on the computer because there's not a lot else going on.  But I've
    found that my sleep rhythms get messed up from too much computer time -
    and my sleep rhythms are ALREADY a problem!
  4. If you can, take 15 minutes and straighten up your house.  I know
    that some days it's just not going to happen, but somehow I always
    feel physically better if the clutter is gone.
  5. If possible, get a pet. My dog and my cats always know when I don't
    feel good and will come and sit with me and give me comfort.
  6. Accept help.  Probably one of the hardest things for people to do
    is accept help.  Needing help is not a weakness.  Not being able
    to accept help is.
  7. Listen to the people around you.  My family and friends almost
    always know I'm going to have a spell even before I do.  Don't be
    stubborn.  Pay attention to them.
  8. Understand that chronic discomfort makes people cranky - it's a fact
    and you can't do much about it. What you can do is try to recognize when
    you've jumped the shark, apologize profusely, and then start over.
  9. Cut yourself some slack.  Nobody can do it all – even if they're
    100% healthy.
  10. Try to live and give each day for God.  I've always tried to do
    that and when I had to slow down I felt I was letting God down because I
    just wasn't "doing!"  What I understand now is that I'm still "doing"
    just in a different way – I listen a lot more.  I'm more
    empathetic.  I'm always here for my friends and family because, well,
    I'm always HERE.

Deb's rules are right on! I love every single one of them. Do you have any rules of your own that help you live a full life despite illness? Please share them with us in the comments below!

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