don’t be such a girl

This morning I had a project meeting with one of the higher-ups, and at one point, she asked me if I would send a memo to the department heads reminding them that the deadline for XYZ thing is tomorrow. I winced, and said, “I would rather have sent it Monday, that’s really short notice…” and she asked, “Why? They’ve known for weeks that this was coming.”

Because, I thought, I don’t want anyone to be mad at me. And though I didn’t say it, she still gave me a full dressing-down about how it’s not my fault if they’re slackers and I shouldn’t take any shit from anyone who complains. Really sweet of her, if a bit intimidating.

This is something I am working on, professionally, but it’s been a problem for most of my life. Like a lot of women I’ve known, I have a tendency to assume that anything that goes wrong is a) my fault, and b) my responsibility to fix. Since I put on a good show most people don’t know that, secretly, I am still sure that at any minute They are going to come busting in and say, “you there, you fucked up and everybody knows it.”

I try to catch myself every time I start thinking like that, but sometimes it slips in (like today, when I read the new post about internet authority on Sugarbutch and immediately assumed that it was provoked by a comment I had left). It’s one of of those things you work on, and someday soon, I hope, I’ll be able to look at any given situation and think, “okay, here’s a situation,” rather than endlessly trying to figure out what people think of my place in said situation. Which inevitably turns into some clusterfuck of internal guilt-tripping wherein I then start thinking, “nobody gives a shit what your place in this situation is, stop being so self-centered, processing is such a girl thing to do…” which really isn’t helpful either.

In the meantime, I wonder, do guys have these situations?

4 Responses to don’t be such a girl

  1. haha – “you there, you fucked up and everybody knows it.” that’s exactly what i’m waiting for, too.

    hmm, good question. my inclination is to say, yes, surely some guys do this – probably fewer, though. then i think the guys who do worry about this sort of thing have “that’s such a girl thing to do” weighing on them even more so.

  2. Dylan says:

    ooooh man. i had to laugh out loud. i’m totally waiting for that day when those people bust in and call me out on this fantasy i’ve been faking for the last four years. “gig’s up dylan… you haven’t been fooling anyone.”

    i also don’t think it’s a particularly girl thing to do, though people who have been raised as females certainly seem to have more of an inclination to respond this way. i think guys second guess themselves just as much but have different ways of internalizing that and how it manifests itself outwardly is probably different as well. i don’t think of myself as a girl and i’m a total processor.

  3. Meridith says:

    I see your point – on the other hand, I don’t think I could ever remind someone of a deadline the day before the deadline. I’d feel terrible! I consider it a personal shortfall that I didn’t anticipate the situation and send the email earlier (regardless of their residency in slackerdom). I suppose that’s all too telling about me…

  4. Dylan says:

    password? i would like to read!

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