I follow several blogs that are divided into basically two categories: 1) blogs for writers, and 2) blogs for personal interests. Very rarely is there any crossover between the two groups. This week I was inspired by the blog post of another author, Jami Gold. Her article, “18 Traits of an Alpha Heroine” came at just the right time to resonate with me on several levels.
As you know, I recently went through a divorce and am still trying to work my way through the pain to find the healthier side of this new life.
What does this have to do with an article on Alpha Heroines, you ask? (Come on…admit it…you were thinking it!) >smile<
As I read through the list of 18 points, many of them struck a chord with me on a personal level. What if we…meaning all women…took the parts of this list that can relate to us…and learned from it. Life is, after all, about learning and growing. When we stop learning and growing, our brains get dusty!
Many of the points would serve as great topics of conversations with our daughters and granddaughters, to empower them.
Allow me to share with you some of my own thoughts about these Alpha Heroine traits. I’m not going to use each of them, so please feel free to check out the full article from Jami here. And keep in mind, this is my take on things; from the way I was raised way back when. My hope is that the “traditional Southern upbringing” I went through isn’t quite so gender-segregated these days.
- Won’t Fight just to Fight: “Being an alpha doesn’t mean being b*tchy and argumentative all the time.”
I wish someone had told me, when I was growing up, that it was okay to be strong and stand your ground. That doing so didn’t make you less feminine or overly masculine. Having not learned this lesson as a youngster, I stepped on quite a few toes during these life lessons.
- Doesn’t Wait to Be Led: “An alpha heroine knows what she wants and won’t wait for someone else to hand it to her. She might also lead in other ways, such as listening to, guiding, or helping others.”
My traditional Southern upbringing made it clear that males were “the leaders” and the females were “the followers.” I was lucky enough to learn that I didn’t need this as my status quo. Being married to a man in the military, he was gone a lot of the time and I had to learn to do things myself. No “Damsel in Distress” here, thank you very much.
- Makes Decisions: “They believe in themselves, so they’re confident enough to follow through and take responsibility.”
- Looks Out for Others and Solves Problems: “Just like how she doesn’t wait to be led, an alpha heroine doesn’t wait for others to solve issues.”
These two sort of go together for me. I could have used some of that belief in myself, that confidence. It came to me pretty late in life compared to when I needed it. But even before I found any measure of self-confidence, I did at least have enough faith in myself that I could find the answers. Sometimes knowing how to find a solution is the next best thing. Waiting around for someone else to “rescue” me from every difficulty just wasn’t an option.
- Commands Respect: “She doesn’t demand respect; she commands it simply by being the kind of person she is.”
This is a point that I think many young women these days just don’t get. You have to respect yourself or no one else will. Respecting yourself doesn’t make you selfish or an egomaniac. It simply means you will treat yourself the best you can AND require others do so, too.
- Isn’t a Doormat: “Just because she’s nice or kind or whatever doesn’t mean that she’ll let others take advantage of her (at least not long term).”
This goes hand-in-hand with the “Commands Respect” trait. If we show others that we won’t accept their negativity, we won’t allow them to treat us poorly, and we won’t be their emotional or physical punching bag, we then can live a life of relative peace. Sure, things can and will go wrong…but not like they would if we lie down and let people walk all over us.
- Might Struggle with Asking for Help: “She’s more comfortable solving her own problems. She’ll often ask for help only when absolutely necessary.”
Asking for help doesn’t make us weak; it doesn’t turn us into a lesser person. It just means we know our own limits and can admit to them. Sometimes there is a struggle to find the balance in pride. Some pride is healthy…too little or too much is not.
- Doesn’t Need the Approval of Others: “She’s confident enough in herself that she doesn’t feel the need to reach out to others for assurance all the time. She’s okay with her opinions, even if others aren’t.”
At first glance, this trait can sound like a person is on an ego trip. However, I think of how my first couple of decades were spent looking for constant approval from a disapproving parent/relative/spouse/society. Guess what: It’s okay to be different; to dance to your own music; to think outside the box—heck, some of us burned our boxes!
- Has a Good Sense of Humor: “While they won’t use jokes to be the center of attention, they do use humor for a purpose. They’re more likely to use humor when they want to make someone else feel better, defuse a tense situation, or put someone in their place, etc.”
I can’t stress this enough. A sense of humor can see you through almost anything. Yes, there are times when it is impossible to find a silver lining or to laugh it off. But hopefully those times are few and very far between. If not, I recommend taking a serious look at your life and see what needs changing.
- Takes Care of Herself: “Alpha heroines aren’t expected to have the body of a model, but they believe in themselves enough to take care of themselves in some way.”
Anyone else raised to think pampering yourself meant you had an excess of ego? (Raised hand here!) Well, I’m here to tell you, it isn’t so. There is nothing wrong with doing something for yourself. Whether it’s a day at the spa or getting a mani/pedi, you are allowed to do something for just you. Studies have shown that it is healthier for us, not just physically, but mentally. Taking care of ourselves includes the outside and the inside. If you give yourself permission to pamper yourself on a regular basis, you are elevating your own worth subconsciously…think about that. >smile<
So what do you think? Do any of these points feel like they resonate with you? I would love to hear from you!
Until next time…be kind to each other…and to yourself!