A lady is accomplished, well-spoken, elegant, refined, intelligent, gracious, patient, and forgiving. She bears no ill will against others, and she is honest without being vindictive. She inspires people and gains their respect by setting an excellent example of behavior.
While I aim to be all of this, I miserably miss the mark in so many ways, and it is always so very difficult to know where to focus your energy and what needs refining.
In an attempt to save on thousands of dollars in psychologist fees, a dear friend and I agreed to be brutally honest with eachother and give one another our top 3 suggestions to improve ourselves. We had made plans for dinner (and an elegant one at that), and looking back, I wish we had kept our dinner conversation to pleasantries and appropriate conversation for eating. As it was, this topic should obviously have accompanied the port we drank later at my home.
Hindsight is 20/20.
The first item he suggested hit me between the eyes, and I truly have yet to recover from it.
He complimented me by saying I was obviously intelligent, very well-read and creative. He said he enjoyed my company and our conversations immensely. He then proceeded to explain that I use my intellect as a defense, or even as a weapon used to bully other people and protect myself. He mentioned several instances, some of which were surprisingly inaccurate from my perspective. But my heart began to sink even more as I listened to him continue speaking, realizing that whether it was my intention or not, I was indeed intimidating and perceived as using my intelligence to get the upper hand in relationships.
So I did what any lady should NOT do: I fought him. I argued my case, gave examples with reasons, explained how I spent so many years allowing my ex-husband to do all my thinking for me… and I “won” the argument. I successfully made him feel horrible for doing something I had asked him to do — to help me identify my weaknesses — and not only that, but I had intellectually punished him for doing it.
I suppose my NewYear’s resolutions are writing themselves.
Ladies, consider yourself. How can we remain woman of wit and character without taking prisoners? Intelligence is to be valued when properly yielded. Being a know-it-all or using your intellect to leverage a position of power MAY work in the boardroom, but it is a threat to healthy friendships and relationships in every other realm.
So, I am publicly apologizing to him and attempting to make up for it by letting you in on his wisdom.