Question of the day: are you a girl boss or just plain rude? - sugar and cloth - houston blogger

Are You a Girl Boss or Just Plain Rude?

To be honest, I don’t even know half the time whether I’m a girl boss or just plain rude. Is that too honest to say? I’m totally asking for your thoughts and experiences here! By nature I’m an over-giving people pleaser that wants everyone to feel free to be themselves and well-loved. I’m also anxious by nature. You’re talking to the girl who’s Mom never had to tell her to touch the stove because it might be hot because I was already assuming that it was up to something sketchy (ha! #truestory).

I’m also my Father’s daughter who’s bound and determined to succeed, and has the motivation of a pissed off bull most days. I’m the girl that was waiting tables because she had no money at all and was a college dropout, who then started a blog and ended up in this moment writing to thousands of you as dear friends from a seat on a plane headed to a girls weekend four years later. I’m still that same girl that was wearing a dirty waiters apron just fakin’ it until she makes it, so where does that put me on the scale of being a girl boss, entrepreneur, or successful business man/woman?

Without going into too much detail, there have a been a few life/business scenarios recently where I’ve really had to stand my ground on not getting taken advantage of, but then I find myself afterward wondering if I was too harsh. Was I firm and polite, or was a I just plain rude?

We all face instances daily whether self-employed, working a corporate job, climbing the business ranks, investing, or seeking out employment, etc. where we have to be strong in our stance, and I’d love to hear your mindset on this!

Question of the day: are you a girl boss or just plain rude? - sugar and cloth - houston blogger

What makes someone a girl boss and what makes someone rude? What’s the defining element there that makes the difference between black and white, or good and bad? I’m a big believer in setting boundaries for different people, but implementing them in a tactful way is a job in and of itself, don’t you think?

I can definitely be a little defensive/stubborn with my initial internal reaction to some things in my mind whether I say them out loud or not, but my over-pleaser side chimes in with a self-reflection side of me that I’m thankful to have for the sake of keeping myself in check a lot of times. I even installed the Just Not Sorry plugin on Gmail to see how many times I was apologizing for things I didn’t need to be apologizing for when replying to emails!

I’ve also found that with blogging specifically, people don’t always think of it as “business as usual” because they consider it a personal endeavor because my face and name is on it. They’re a little more forgiving when you’re emailing on behalf of a larger company that you’re basically doing business for or representing, but they’re super quick to become offended with it comes from someone who is personally creating the content themselves.

I’d love to know what some of your thoughts on what you find being firm versus what’s just rude! Small business owners, what’s your candid thought on this? Corporate business ladies, what’s been your experiences in the workplace?!

 

Question of the day: are you a girl boss or just plain rude? - sugar and cloth - houston blogger

Are You a Girl Boss or Just Plain Rude?

To be honest, I don’t even know half the time whether I’m a girl boss or just plain rude. Is that too honest to say? I’m totally asking for your thoughts and experiences here! By nature I’m an over-giving people pleaser that wants everyone to feel free to be themselves and well-loved. I’m also anxious by nature. You’re talking to the girl who’s Mom never had to tell her to touch the stove because it might be hot because I was already assuming that it was up to something sketchy (ha! #truestory).

I’m also my Father’s daughter who’s bound and determined to succeed, and has the motivation of a pissed off bull most days. I’m the girl that was waiting tables because she had no money at all and was a college dropout, who then started a blog and ended up in this moment writing to thousands of you as dear friends from a seat on a plane headed to a girls weekend four years later. I’m still that same girl that was wearing a dirty waiters apron just fakin’ it until she makes it, so where does that put me on the scale of being a girl boss, entrepreneur, or successful business man/woman?

Without going into too much detail, there have a been a few life/business scenarios recently where I’ve really had to stand my ground on not getting taken advantage of, but then I find myself afterward wondering if I was too harsh. Was I firm and polite, or was a I just plain rude?

We all face instances daily whether self-employed, working a corporate job, climbing the business ranks, investing, or seeking out employment, etc. where we have to be strong in our stance, and I’d love to hear your mindset on this!

Question of the day: are you a girl boss or just plain rude? - sugar and cloth - houston blogger

What makes someone a girl boss and what makes someone rude? What’s the defining element there that makes the difference between black and white, or good and bad? I’m a big believer in setting boundaries for different people, but implementing them in a tactful way is a job in and of itself, don’t you think?

I can definitely be a little defensive/stubborn with my initial internal reaction to some things in my mind whether I say them out loud or not, but my over-pleaser side chimes in with a self-reflection side of me that I’m thankful to have for the sake of keeping myself in check a lot of times. I even installed the Just Not Sorry plugin on Gmail to see how many times I was apologizing for things I didn’t need to be apologizing for when replying to emails!

I’ve also found that with blogging specifically, people don’t always think of it as “business as usual” because they consider it a personal endeavor because my face and name is on it. They’re a little more forgiving when you’re emailing on behalf of a larger company that you’re basically doing business for or representing, but they’re super quick to become offended with it comes from someone who is personally creating the content themselves.

I’d love to know what some of your thoughts on what you find being firm versus what’s just rude! Small business owners, what’s your candid thought on this? Corporate business ladies, what’s been your experiences in the workplace?!

 

Comments

  • Tori Tait

    05.02.16

    SUch a push and pull sometimes, right? I love this topic Ashley. As a blogger/self employed it’s so hard to stand firm sometimes, say no, or really negotiate for yourself. This is the environment where I catch myself on the “sorry train” sometimes. In my career in marketing for a larger brand, we do apologize if we’ve done something wrong. But more often than not, it’s simply about making the other party feel recognized and heard which can be done while standing your ground. I think at the end of the day whether it be a conversation with a reader, a potential partner, a customer, etc, as long as we acknowledge one another and share our view in a non-aggressing or defensive way than we don’t need to be worried about coming off rude.

  • Debra

    05.02.16

    Hi Ashley. I think you hit the nail on the head by defining yourself as a girl boss rather than just a boss. I think Women feel the need/pressure to be conciliatory far more than men do and thus suffer more angst in their dealings with other people. I’m always second guessing my reactions and responses in business dealings. Especially in written communications that can be so easily misconstrued. If you’re in the right, you just have to get past that feeling of bad behavior. If you’re in the wrong, apologize, learn from it, and let it go. That’s about all I’ve been able to figure out in years as a supervisor and business owner.

  • Jo

    05.02.16

    This is actually a very important feminist issue. The concept that women speak up and they instantly come off as shrill or a b****. Men don’t always See that they are being rude (which is subjective anyways). Men aren’t proven over-apologizers and we often let them off the hook for being forward in BUSINESS settings. You are the boss, NOT a girl boss, but a boss. Being authoritative in your position is not being rude. You have the experience in your FIELD to give direction and guidance (even a tough push) to your employees and collaborators, that’s being a good leader.

  • Abbey

    05.02.16

    Youre being a Girlboss!

  • Sarah W.

    05.02.16

    This is such an interesting topic. I don’t know what it really means to be a girl boss yet, since I’m still a full-time student, but I definitely have come across some lovely ladies that know how to balance boss life and regular life. They really just know how to treat people the way they should be treated, and I really respect that! XO, Sarah | http://www.thebellainsider.com/ | http://www.instagram.com/sarah_thebella

  • Amy v

    05.02.16

    This is something that haS been on my mind lateLy. I think as a small busIness owner you can’t please everybody, although i try. I try to make things very clear from the beginning, but find that it is sometimes difficult to do. I Can be firm without screaming at people, but then again everyone is different. I want People to be honest because i myself can be bruTally honEst. I want people to not blow smoke up my ass, get to the point and do what they say they are going to do. I’m sure i cOme off as rude sometimes too, but don’t mean to. As a business owner you have to grow a thick skin and move on. I think you can be a boss and girl boss. You just have to be firm with some people to get to the point and get shit Done. Keep doing what you are doing and if you piss some people off along the way its not the end of the woRld.

  • Lauren

    05.02.16

    Cool topic. Wish i was capable of being “rude” more often than i do wihout overthinking it. Working as an architect with a bunch of dudes I often walk onto a jobsite and Put on (what i call) my “bitch face” until people take Me seriOusly. But i still have a hard time having the tough talks with The guys and with folks in geneRal. Im def not confrontational. Its necessray thoUgh, which makes it girl boss worthy. Not rude.

  • Christine

    05.02.16

    Hey, i am so glad you wrote about this. first off, i don’t consider you or myself a “girl boss”. we are the BOSS, no gender needed. but to get to your question, i think the best thing you can do is to ask is if you are standing your ground, would anyone judge a man harshly for how you responded? if the answer is no, then don’t give it a second thought. women are held to impossible standards and will be judged for either being too ACCOMMODATING or being too harsh. it took me a bit to stop feeling the need to please everyone and once i did i felt free. i bet you stood your ground and were polite and awesome.

  • Kristina B

    05.02.16

    Funny you should bring this up. I recently read a post on Cup of Jo about how she dislikes the term “girlboss” and I was really surprised how many commenters HATED IT!!! Like, ALL OF THEM!!! I can’t quite put my finger on how a “girlboss” is different than just “the boss” but I feel like there is something different about it. Anyway, I can’t imagine you ever being rude! If you were being firm with a person or a brand then you were just protecting YOUR brand and what you built, what you worked hard for! You have that right! I had a stationer who kept tagging me in photos on IG and they’d come up in my “pictures of you” feed and I was SO PISSED! I didn’t want people thinking I carry their cards when I don’t and also they kept. on. doing it. I had to be firm with them and tell them to CUT IT OUT. I HATED IT but it had to be done. As I grow into my business, which I am taking full time very soon, this is the stuff that scares me. Bravo to you for facing it head on!

  • Krista

    05.02.16

    I hate the term Girl Boss. You are a boss, not something that has to be quantified by adding “girl” to the front. Also, the last time I checked, I was a grown-ass woman not a girl. We don’t call men “Boy bosses.” No man
    agonizes over whether they were thought of as rude or will be perceived as anything other than being in charge. Own it. Realize you are the boss, competent and capable and continue standing your ground.

  • Chandra Carson

    05.02.16

    GIRL, YOU KNOW I THINK YOU’RE BOSS!! AND YOU’RE FABULOUS TO WORK WITH SO DON’T LET ANYBODY TELL YOU DIFFERENTLY. IF YOU DON’T PUSH BACK, BRANDS DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY CAN/SHOULDN’T EXPECT. WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE DON’T KNOW SO STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF ONLY HELPS EVERYONE INVOLVED! XO

  • Madeleine

    05.02.16

    I have recently ran into this problem myself. Many of my clients appreciate my honesty and blunt manor, but just today I had a client try to end a 1-year contract simply because the marketing director changes His mind about the services i offer altogether without Giving them a fair chancE. How can i reinForce this is a contract and i must be paid without being unprofessional Or bitchy.

  • Abby

    05.02.16

    I don’t consider myself either a Girlboss or just plain rude. I say What needs to be said at work to get things done. (I work in a corporate office.) Instead of apologizing for anything, I try to start emails to difficult people with “Thank you for…” Sometimes it’s a struggle to find things to thank people for. But even if someone sent you a rude email, you can say something like, “Thank you for giving this your full attention.” Or “Thank you for responding so quickly.” Then people find you less rude, but you Never have to apologize.

  • Kate Robart

    05.02.16

    I really loved this post and so needed to hear it today! As someone who is a small business owner and a people pleaser, i feel like i am constantly walking a fine line. since i am in sales, i get a lot of people pushing me on pricing / negotiating and it is really tough to be firm but now “rude”.

    my husband always tells me to listen to some beyoncé before dealing with a client who is particularly pushy (who run the world? girls!). I think that you have to make the decision that is best for you and your business and it will trickle down to being the best decision for your client. and i have also had to learn that it is sometimes best to lose a sale / client and just say no if you dont think it will be a good fit. There are always ways to be firm without being rude, and confidence will get you a long ways in the business world! you are awesome!

    ps – not sure why this is in all caps but i am not being rude and yelling (haha!)

  • Chrissy

    05.02.16

    Man, this is a huge one! As a full time food marketing professional and side hustle creative business owner, Up until now i’ve yearned to be full time creative just so i could call the shoTs but my husband has to often keep my first reaction away from the reply button. On the corporate side, i have had male sales managers call me rude or too harsh when ive stood my ground just because they feel wimen should be submissive and say sorry before supporting their own stances. I think finding the balance is something women will ALWAYS have to deal with until the double standArds fall away.

  • Amy Anderson

    05.02.16

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not a girl boss, nor am I rude. I am the boss of my own business (I don’t do girl boss).I worked in corporate america for a long time before running my own business – i also have an mba. before that I worked in science (even more male dominated than business). I also grew up with four brothers. One thing I’ve never done is question myself as a woman in a work scenario, and I hope that for every other woman. I’ve questioned myself for other reasons, but not for being a woman! I do know it’s hard, but in general men have no problem being firm without questioning themselves . . . so why shouldn’t women? If it’s considered bitchy and rude, so be it. I always tried to be firm but fair. I still do. I guess I Don’t wait around long enough to know waht people think of me . . . I just move onto the next thing! I’m not perfect, but I’m doing my best.

    In terms of Girl Boss, I read Cup of Joe’s article and totally agreed with it. If someone called me a girl boss I would find it insulting. I didn’t go to school and get two degrees, work for years in corporate, and start my own business to be called anything like that. Just my two cents!