The Underlying problem
The Good girl syndrome is a symptom of insecurity. In my case my curious nature and creative along with being near 6ft equaled disaster for me in fitting in. Towards being desirable and obtaining the golden prize, so I thought of an African husband. So the cure was to be good and as accommodating as possible. Even if this meant hurting myself or denying my own needs. Hence why The Good Girl Syndrome is pathological. It can lead to poor decisions, attracting and accepting toxic relationships. It also leads to bad habits such as, procrastination and a constant need to please too many. With your needs being last on the list.
It is synonymous with ‘the nice girl’, who presumably is perfectly flawless in every way. It often manifests from childhood labelling and narratives given to you. In my case ‘good girls’ don’t fight for the last chicken. They always allow the men to have it, to win. Mothers mean well when they teach their daughters to be ‘good girls’, in fact, there is nothing wrong with it. If the definition is to love who you are, having your beliefs founded on what represents you. As you are and not as others which you to be.
If I have a son and a daughter for instance and there happens to be one chicken left. Should my daughter fight her brother for it, my response would be “ladies first”. To my daughter I would say “it is good to share if the chicken is big enough. Otherwise eat up but next time your brother gets the last chicken”!
The perceived Rewards
With any behavior as exemplified by Parlov’s experiment, a positive reward reinforces the behavior, even bad ones.
For me the perceived reward was mother’s, unconditional love. I would make her proud if I was a ‘good girl’. Also, as a chronic box ticker I could strike off my list being an outstanding member of my community. I could almost taste the ink on my parker pen ticking. Joy! Furthermore, proving the imaginary ‘everyone’ wrong about what I could achieve. Which was, if I could just be really ‘good’ it would outweigh the intimidation, I was often told my presence and degrees imposed (haters thank you!)
Be a noblewoman.
The difference between a ‘good girl’ and a ‘noblewoman’ being the latter regrets nothing! She also does not let the fear of rejection stop her from pursuing her dreams.
How can embody the noblewoman?
Love yourself by knowing and accepting who you are, as you are size inclusive! With your low cuts, braids, or shaved look! Hey it can be done and beautifully.
Obtain knowledge. If you are entering a business that you have no prior knowledge then get some. Understand how those in your industry have been successful. Then refashion this in your own unique way. Know that you can have what you want just by being you. You are enough. Ensure that your actions are a choice you have made, not one made in order to be accepted by others. If the behaviuor within the environment or your relationship isn’t in accordance with your life mission statement. Or isn’t adjustable for you to succeed, then leave. No ifs, ands or buts!
Seek to understand than be understood
Once I stopped caring about the world and their perception. I could now focus on being present in the moment. I felt a certain liberation, now no longer needing to convince others of who I was but who now seek to understand.
Do some introspective work
Focus on your goals and not the negative narratives playing in your mind. Writes these down then come back to each and work on challenging them. (more on this on another post)
Let your actions do the talking.
I stopped trying to debate at the time, why I had chosen to be celibate. For 7 years to be exact. (more on this also on another post!) When I finally knew and accepted who I was. I could decide what core beliefs were in alignment with who I wanted to be.
Laugh a lot
I meant it! Bad hair day? Laugh. It’s a good form of self-care for you. weighing scale saying you gained two pounds since morning? Laugh! Well maybe a little cry too!
Be a woman of your word
Say what you mean and mean what you say.
No apologies and definitely no excuses. There isn’t anything else I have to say on this one.
Forgive yourself every time and then some more.
We all mess up, it’s human. So let it go of it, yes that moment when you sent him a hundred texts! Learn from the experience and move on.
Remember the words of Scarlet O’Hara “After all, tomorrow is another day!”
And thank God for that! So try again at whatever goal you set tomorrow.
Two weeks later…..
“How did you find the work we discussed” asked the Doctor
“Very useful Doctor. I have been keeping journals and reading self-help books such as ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen Covey’. I know I am on my way to getting better.”
“I am really happy to hear this. But you seem puzzled about something?”
“Well yes Doctor. With all this newfound awareness. I am seeing a lot of BS I never saw before”
“Oh I see” replied the Doctor
“I wondered, is there paracetamol for BS?”