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putting your foot down since the start...taking control over you,your life

Discussion in 'Married Life' started by 1dropLove, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. 1dropLove

    1dropLove Bronze IL'ite

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    There must be a lot of us who have never let their ILs,DH control them and they must have faced bad consequences like being labelled as arrogant,self-centred etc.Like one of my cousins,on her first day after marriage was asked by a village lady to replace her 'chooda' with bangles.Its a ritual in our community-DILs bangles are replaced after she comes home.Chooda isnt included in our customs,she was wearing it cos she liked it.When she didnt remove it,the lady asked it forcefully and my cousin was still adament,then they stopped pushing her.Though my cousin is a bit selfish and bold,nobody can control her at any cost and that's remarkable.She's living a wonderful life now,at her own terms and may be shes' just plain lucky to have a v supportive husband.There arent a lot of things that I can admire about her but i wish i could be bold and still lead a happy life.
    It would be grat to see all the ladies come up and pen down how being bold and adament worked.Does it really work ,...long term...
     
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  2. Ansuya

    Ansuya Platinum IL'ite

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    I don't know if I'm bold, adamant, selfish, arrogant, or any of the other words sometimes used to describe women on these forums who are assertive and seem to know and value their rights. However, I do know what I will and won't stand for in my significant relationships (in-laws, husband, parents, siblings, whoever), and I've known these things about myself for a long time.

    I made sure I married a man who worked with me towards shared goals, and not someone who would stand in my way and put the needs and desires of others before our own. I have met with some resistance along the way from various people, and without exception, those people have proved definitively over time that I am better off without them in my life than with them. Anyone who was worth keeping in my life worked with me through our problems to remain in my life.

    I make sure to treat other people well, and I don't try to change anyone else, for better or worse. Those who are with me, are, and those who prefer to go their own way, can. So, long-term, I can say that my choices, actions, and attitudes have served me well in allowing me to achieve happiness and togetherness with my family. My family is my husband and my child; they take precedence over everything and everyone else.

    I don't know if I've answered your question, but I can say for sure that "taking control" is very rarely something that happens overnight. A woman should know herself well before she can begin to assert herself and neutrally assess whether what she wants is reasonable and fair.

    Self-awareness does not develop automatically; it is a process that ideally should begin in childhood and continue to evolve throughout life. Going into marriage without having a strong sense of self makes it difficult to retain your individuality and identity when you are merging your life with that of another person (and his whole family, judging by some threads here). And a woman should never forget who she is, no matter who she marries.

    I am not proposing that women become dominating, unpleasant, aggressive, controlling, stubborn, or pugnacious in an effort to control their own lives. But leaving everything up to fate, husband, chance, God (or whatever your particular belief system is) seems a rather imprudent strategy. However, the trick is to get the balance right - be in control of your life, but don't try to control other people. Otherwise, you become a hypocrite.
     
  3. Vidya21

    Vidya21 Senior IL'ite

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    Being assertive and being happy are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

    I think how much control you have over your life is a function of how well you know what you want out of your life. It is the kind of clarity that comes from being truly on your own, and from the willingness to accept and live with the consequences of your choices.

    Keeping sight of the bigger picture helps too. I let go of things that don't in the long term affect my bigger picture outcomes. But that's just me. I've also found being truly accepting of people helps me, but only if it is in sync with my core set of values. I've won some, lost some because of this, but in the end, I've always been happier/wiser because of the choices I made.

    I personally think we all have the power to control our lives, what holds us back is the fear stemming from the lack of clarity about what exactly it is that we can and cannot live without.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  4. Happysoul1234

    Happysoul1234 Gold IL'ite

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    I think it's not right when people label women are are assertive and confident as arrogant etc. The sad part is that it's mostly other women (often of the older generation) who utilize these labels generously.

    My personal belief is that people can only take advantage of you as much as you allow them to. To protect your rights, your style of life etc if this means I have to be assertive or stand up for myself, then that's what I am going to do. But then when inlaws come into the picture, defending one's rights and lifestyle has to be done diplomatically and carefully! And one must learn to not make an issue out of every comment made on yourself and learn to pick and choose the battle over important issues only. it takes a while to do this well!

    There is also, I feel, a thin line between being assertive and overstepping your boundaries. If I feel I should lead my life a certain way does not mean everyone should do the same. You should never impose your values and beliefs on someone else!

    In the same tone, if out of 365 days a year, if I have to live per someone else's standards for 5 days, I do not mind that because the rest of the time I live life on my own terms. Ofcourse, I am referring to the time spent at my in-laws. I may wear jeans and tshirts at home but for the time I go to their house in small town, india, I'd rather wear clothes more suited to their lifestyle. This is a compromise I am willing to make.

    But I will not let them interfere in how I raise my child, my finances, how I run my home and how much contact I have with my side of the family. If they raise these issues for invalid reasons, I have learnt to push them off diplomatically or just ignore their comments. I have had to be stern with them on a couple of occassions, and this caused some ugly moments but it's best to remain assertive, yet respectful and move on with your life.
     
  5. Tridev

    Tridev Silver IL'ite

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    This is a nice subject, to be bold and have those assertive qualities, and at the same time to not be arrogant, stubborn, aggresive is not easy. I know my wife, how she is, she is one of those types mentioned here, aggresive, very very bold, very strong , adamanant, rude, will not even think once before speaking hurtful words and never apologize and never comfort. What has this given her, may be independence, may be no need for a man in her life, whether she has her husband or not, she can survive. I dont think be it man or woman, too much independent, strong personality of either will make things better, esp in home life where things cannot be so stubborn. I feel a woman like this can attain self independence but will also lose a lot in due course, which otherwise she would have attained had she not been stubborn, strong headed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  6. ShilpaMa

    ShilpaMa IL Hall of Fame

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    I agree to all posters & more so with Tridev to remain in moderation, which is the crux of being effective rather than just truly efficient.

    What makes a difference to ladies who live a decent repectful life even when surrounded with difficult people is that they are READY for CONSEQUENCES that arise of their decisions.
    They never complain or regret or LOOK BACK. They just move on in life. They have the capability to find a route when all doors are shut on their face.

    They just take a new decision in circumstances which are not going as per their ways.. it may or maynot please the indian society around them.

    Many of the arrogant/ wild / immature ladies do land up into "spit n lick" condition when they have to backtrack on their decisions & apologise to all just to remain married. Its always better to choose battles that you can clearly win else you're forced to do the above.
     
  7. Malavika81

    Malavika81 Bronze IL'ite

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    A woman can be courageous and assertive and independent without automatically being associated( or stereotyped) with other qualities.....rude, arrogant and headstrong. I have to say, whether it is men or women, when they exude rudeness and arrogance to come across as assertive and bold, they usually are insecure and lack confidence and they use the arrogance and rudeness to mask their insecurities and shortcomings. But again, a woman who is truly assertive and independent can be branded and associated with the other stereotypical negative qualities by men. I suppose that is a lingering side effect of male dominated societies still trying to hold on to the control switch for thousands of years.

    And why is it that women always have something to lose when they want to be assertive and independent? And what exactly are they losing out on, I wonder. Self independence and self reliance can be attained without being stubborn and strong headed. And why is it that when a man is stubborn and strong headed, it is called self confident and determined and successful and when it comes to a woman, its stubborn and strong headed? I must have missed reading that chapter in the 'How a woman ought to be - A male perspective' manual.
     
  8. sarma

    sarma Senior IL'ite

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    You can be anything you want so long as you sport a smile on your face. You can get away with a lot. Try it.

    A sense of humor, wit and a skill in good reading of people make you perfect. Those can hide many of your imperfections.
     
  9. RadiantCat

    RadiantCat Gold IL'ite

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    I treat this thread as a different branch to one my OP "Low Self Esteem". Let me add my two cents here:

    1. People are branded when they are reasonable, logical, assertive and know what they want as arrogant.
    2. People are branded when they don't take any nonsense from anyone to have interpersonal skills problem.
    Let me substantiate my statement here.

    For point 1. a 30 year old man got his ears pierced because it was missed when he an year old. When this was cited as illogical it is branded as arrogance. Well does it make sense? The answer is plain "No"

    For point 2. when someone who is absolutely mediocre comments about something you are doing and you know what you are doing right; you try to prove a point here; your interpersonal skills are a problem.

    The Indian society as such is extremely hippocratic, it has a dog-eat-dog mentality, and we are expected to boot lick from in-laws, to the managers and subsequently bitch about them. We for once cannot take ownership in doing any kind of spring-cleaning. We cannot live and let live.
    The ones that are responsible need to battle at every stage because they are different from the rest. This means they don't know what they want, they are immatures, bold, independent, not grooved for the boot licking atmosphere.

    When we say how we need to live a disciplined life, we are called as immature, a person that is not worldly wise, a person unfit to live in this competitive world. If one has to be fit, it means from the Indian perspective one has to grease anyones palm for their benefit.

    Aggressiveness is not being pugnacious, aggressiveness is also being silent and getting the work done. There is a negative and a positive word for every attribute.

    1. Aggressive for women is negative, but for men it is positive
    2. Diplomacy can be construed as hypocrisy.
    3. Aggressiveness can be attributed to leadership skills or a rebel too.
    4. Professionalism can be construed as a cold attitude.
    If a person is successful in the path that she has chosen, she is appreciated. If the same person is unsuccessful, we say it is her foolhardiness and because of her attitude it is no wonder she's a failure.

    We must know where we can adjust and where we must stand up for our rights. We interchange and look upon the public forums for solutions. It has to be a well balanced act.

    I am responding the following to one of the responses.

    Superiority complex as such will display arrogance and rudeness, but those that suffer from extreme inferiority complex also display similar traits. There's a subtle difference. People in the latter category will never ever allow anyone as smart as they are in their network. They would also fish for people who are simpletons and suffer from some complex which will not allow them to distinguish the formers problems.

    It is better to stay away from both the sets of people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2010
  10. Happysoul1234

    Happysoul1234 Gold IL'ite

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    Tridev I first read your comments and my first reaction was you were being an MCP. Why is being stubborn and strong headed an acceptable quality in an Indian man but not an Indian wife? I know plenty of Indian men who have made lives miserable for their wives due to their stubborn nature, arrogance and strong-headedness. The boat floats both ways!

    Then I re-read, and it so totally reminded me of my brother's ex-wife. She lost out on a good guy because of the situation you have described. Whether she herself considered it a loss, I don't know though, because she struck me as a person who'd rather blame others than take responsibility for her own actions.

    I think the gist of this thread , echoed in many of the posts is that there is a fine line between being assertive/self confident and rude / hurtful/ arrogant. Not just women, but many men I know don't know where do draw this line and end up screwing not just their own lives, but of those around them too.

    If it gives you any comfort, there are women out there who know to balance their lives .. a lot of IL's belong to that group!
     

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