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Unlearn Girly Behaviors & Become a Power Communicator

Unlearn Girly Behaviors & Become a Power Communicator

Connie Glaser | DivineCaroline

There is no more important skill in attaining success—personal and professional—than your ability to communicate effectively. Yet women often sabotage themselves through their communication skills. Differences in how men and women communicate are rooted in social conditioning. Only by understanding the impact of this social conditioning and how it translates into the workplace can we begin to unlearn “girlish” behaviors and become power communicators.

Certain types of behavior have been expected of women since time began. For “little ladies,” arguing, cursing and displays of anger have been taboo. Most little girls were—and many still are—raised to be polite, cooperative and, by and large, docile. Historically, women were encouraged to speak softly, always say please and thank you, and smile a lot. It’s no wonder that as we grew up, learning to express ourselves forcefully became a real challenge.

This gender differentiation begins practically at birth. Social psychologist Jeffrey Rubin and his associates have found that first-time fathers use different adjectives to describe their newborns, depending on whether the infant is a boy or a girl. Day-old sons are “firm,” “strong,” and “alert.” Daughters are “soft” and “delicate.”

When mothers were observed with their infants, they frequently gave sons a train to play with and handed their daughters a doll. And these were mothers who felt they were free of gender differentiation.

In the toddler stage, boys are encouraged to have rough-and-tumble interaction, while daughters’ parents place far more emphasis on talking. Gender-specific behavior is reinforced by grade-school textbooks, children’s cartoons, and the mass media.

With this early social conditioning, it’s no wonder that boys and girls emerge with very different self-concepts. These differences surface not just in the way they play, but in the way they communicate, and, later in life, in the way they conduct professional interactions.

It’s no secret that boys grow up preferring to play outdoors in large groups that are structured hierarchically—think tag, baseball, football. Their groups usually have a leader and their games almost always have winners and losers. Boys are encouraged to boast about their skills and to argue about who’s best at what.

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At DivineCaroline, you’ll be spending time with women who embrace the fact that life isn’t always easy or beautiful or fair. Our dream is to give you a place to come together to express yourselves. What brings you joy. What breaks your heart. Makes you giggle. What pisses you off. Confuses you. Entertains you. What keeps you strong. Check them out here!


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