Happy Sunday, Soothers. If you grew up socialized as a woman, and you identify as a sensitive person, it’s likely that you suffer from what could be referred to as good girl conditioning. “Good girl” is a phrase tossed around a lot, and what it could mean to each person who uses it could be totally different, so I’ll just state what good girl conditioning, at least in part, means to me:
It means focusing on being polite, virtuous, palatable, pretty, youthful, respectful and respectable (and the patriarchy’s definitions of those words and phrases, not your own)… at the cost of your soul, your core desires, and your authenticity.
You can begin to know if you struggle with good girl conditioning if you constantly feel resentment; to me, that is the number one tell-tale sign. Resentment is a signal that your needs and desires are being trampled on, but you feel you can’t or don’t deserve to articulate your needs. If you need it explained a bit more clearly, and I include this because I felt deep resentment for decades but didn’t understand that’s what I was experiencing: resentment shows up as ruminating a lot about other people and their behaviors or how they get to do something that you don’t get to do and “must be nice for them.” You may experience feeling like a victim or a martyr to circumstances or other people’s choices, then resent them deeply. You may also be stewing in anger about how they should know more about what you want (expecting them to read your mind — probably because you’re so good at anticipating their needs).
Judgment of other women who seem “unruly” or “too much” is another sign, as is general judgment of other women. If you find yourself constantly surveying other women and thinking a lot of “shoulds” about how they should operate, it may be because you’re operating from a good girl judgment system.
You may also be intensely concerned with how people perceive you, what they might think of you, and feel unsafe unless you can find ways of confirming that everybody around you is okay and approving of who and how you are.
You suppress and judge your own emotions, especially the “negative” ones — anger, grief, raw desire. Trust me, if you are a good girl, you are actually very angry. And you have every right…