Join author Melody Stevens as she describes “Why Winning the “Most Polite Award” Sucked” and how it allowed others to treat her like a doormat.
Written by Melody Stevens
When I was in summer camp going into fourth grade, there was an awards ceremony on the last day. Everyone got an award. There was the most athletic, most musical, best at archery, etc. Me? I won the “most polite” award. I’m not kidding and I think my mom still has the certificate in some shoebox.
It was a proud crown I wore psychologically throughout my childhood , adolescence and into adulthood. The title of “most polite” was a part of my identity. I lived into it. I mean, I waited my turn in line, never cut, and if someone else cut in front of me, I wouldn’t tell a soul or say anything to the person who cut. I mean, that wouldn’t be polite!
I rarely if ever interjected in a conversation, and I made sure I stepped aside while other people expressed their opinions. I listened and agreed with whoever it was that was speaking. I mean, disagreeing would be rude, right?
I allowed people to be late on me, cancel at the last minute over and over, and otherwise be unreliable while I was extra reliable. I mean, being unreliable myself or telling someone that I’m mad because they unreliable wouldn’t fit the title of Princess of Politeness, right?
Okay. In other words, I was a doormat.
Until finally shed my title at age 40 and decided to become just a little bit rude. (I sought help from support groups and from an excellent therapist because I just knew that my most polite crown was killing me inside.)
Not that I will be winning the “most rude” award anytime soon, but here are some things that becoming a little bad has enabled me to do:
- Confront or dump unreliable friends, colleagues and employees
- Dramatically improve my business
- Lose weight (I’m taking care of myself before taking care of everyone else)
- Say “no” sometimes and become a happier person -Speak up with my opinions
To your freedom and your success!
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
What have you accepted in your life that took time, physically or mentally?
I have accepted that the only things I have control over are my own actions and reactions. Everything else is wildly out of my control. This includes how others react to me, how fast money comes into my business and how quickly I lose weight. I can influence these things through my actions, but ultimately they are out of my hands.
What do you appreciate about yourself and within your life?
I appreciate my courage and ability to learn, grow and change. I appreciate that I am certain that I’m on a path of self improvement and that effects all aspects of my life.
What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What goals do you still have?
One of the most rewarding achievements in my life is writing and publishing my book “Become a Time Millionaire: 100 Ways to Gain an Extra Hour a Day.” It’s a way I can share my heart and hopefully help many many others in a big way.
What is your not-so-perfect way? What imperfections and quirks create your Identity?
My not so perfect way is that I tend to leave things behind. My computer bag, credit cards, my keys, cell phone, my pocketbook…. Thank goodness the world is full of good people. I’ve been this way all my life. Certainly this is not my best quality but I’ve accepted that this is my not so perfect way.
How would you complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
I love my life!