The word ‘bitch’ can be one of the most offensive terms used to describe a woman. But that derogatory term can almost be taken as a compliment – if you understand why it’s being uttered.
While it’s usually meant as an insult, it’s often also a sign that you’re performing well, getting ahead, and thus perhaps making a few people jealous. It could nearly be considered a compliment – 7Ua sign you’re on the right track in whatever you’re doing.
Who calls it?
It’s common for both genders to use the word, but in my experience you’ll hear it more often from men’s mouths. If you’re called a bitch, stop and think about the kind of people who use this word. They’re the type who is easily threatened by women, and who would like to undermine you. By calling you this, they’ve done you the favour of letting you know they feel threatened by you, and tipping you off to be wary in your dealings with them.
Who gets called it?
Chances are the women who are called a bitch end up hearing it more than once in their career. They are usually decisive, firm and confident - qualities we know are stereotyped negatively in women, particularly by men who don’t respond well to female direction.
However, having these qualities is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Being decisive, firm and confident simply means you know where you are headed, are making the tough decisions, and aren’t intimidated by people regardless of their age, experience or gender. If you find yourself being perceived negatively by others for having these qualities, view it as a badge of honour.
What can you do about it?
Realise that this kind of thing is inevitable. It’s an offshoot of Tall Poppy Syndrome and there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Rather, it’s how you deal with it that is important. It may be not be easy in your early career days, but you should try to not let it affect you emotionally.
However, if you do find yourself getting upset or offended, it is best to avoid the offender until you regain your composure. Help yourself regain that poise and confidence by reminding yourself it’s a badge of honour.
Keep your head up and smile, because people wouldn’t waste such hateful words on somebody they’re not threatened by.
To read this story in full, grab a copy of our forthcoming November print issue.
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Amanda Rose is Founder of The Business Woman Media.
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