Strong Women: Do They Turn Men Off?

Tonja Weimer
 


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Have you ever heard other people say that men don't like to date strong women? Do not believe it. The key is to be soft AND strong. Does that sound impossible? It isn't.

Being a soft and strong woman changes the way you look at choices. It alters how you pick people to date. If it were easy or obvious, everyone would do it. How do you get there? By becoming ASSERTIVE.

People have been confused about what it means to be a strong, assertive woman. They thought it meant that you had to get in someone’s face and scream and yell to get what you wanted. That is antagonism and aggression. You aren't being strong and you certainly can't be soft when you take that approach. There is another way to let others know what you want and need. I call it benign assertiveness. Here is how you develop those particular muscles:

*Saying no

Being a soft and strong woman starts with the word “No. ” You don’t have to shout it and you don’t have to defend it, but you do need to pay attention to what does and doesn’t work for you and let others know. Saying no is not a natural response for most of us who were raised to obey our parents, teachers and employers. We have been taught to conform and to go along with people. But in order to give yourself what you need, you have to learn and practice benign assertiveness.

*Needs and boundaries

To be soft and strong, you have to understand your needs and your boundaries. Everyone has needs but most people are clueless as to what they are. Sometimes you don’t discover them until someone crosses a boundary. A boundary is the line you draw between what is OK with you and what is not. Benign assertiveness is telling someone they have crossed the line. You can say it nicely, but the point is-you have to say it.

*Being a “pleaser. ”

Being assertive in order to become soft and strong is challenging. It's difficult when you want connection and acceptance. You are afraid to tell people what is okay with you and what is not. You worry they will go away. It feels like being a “pleaser” instead of being assertive fis easier. However, the harmony you accomplish is short term. It doesn’t last because when you continually sacrifice your needs to accommodate others, you will never be happy.

I have a client who lived with tremendous stress in her job. It was making her ill. She described how unkind her former husband was to her. She talked about the cruelty of her current boss. As we looked at her other past relationships, they began to sound alike. She was confused. She tried to be everything she thought the people around her wanted. She couldn’t understand why they mistreated her. The problem was, people treated her the way she treated herself—with little regard.

She sought acceptance, but she first needed to look within and heal what was unacceptable in her. She sacrificed authentic connections by trying to please others. Blaming our partner is a common response to having boundaries crossed and needs unmet. This is the way we turn relationships into bitter battlefields.

When you become strong, and practice benign assertiveness, then you can allow yourself to be soft and feminine. You can step up, be accountable, and take responsibility for getting what you want, including happiness.

It is a sobering and exhilarating thought that you can have everything you want—and eliminate everything you don’t want—when you are soft and strong. So don't be afraid to step up and declare yourself a strong woman!

Visit http://www.tonjaweimer.com or http://www.singlesdatingtips.com for more tips, skills, and insight on dating, relationships, singles, and love. Subscribe to our F*ree Savvy Dating Newsletter from master single's coach, life coach, and syndicated columnist, Tonja Weimer. Copyright 2006, Tonja Weimer. (Please note source if reprinting this article. )

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