Whether we truly agree or not, when Sarah Palin, Dr. Laura Schlesinger, Ann Coulter, Whoopie Goldberg, Angelina Jolie, and the like state their perspectives, it is our responsibility to align with or dispute in our own words.
More women are in positions of power, albeit, there are way more to come in this decade. Our voices are required. We need to speak out and create the dialogue model that is inherent in our basic personalities. We know how to listen, then ask questions, to collaborate, the make sure all parties are heard and respected.
I dropped the ball several years ago when I was listening to Laura Schlesinger on the radio as I was driving from here to there. I got so annoyed I started to backtalk to the radio, no one else in the car, and the radio and Laura didn’t hear or care what I was saying.
In a nutshell: a caller was getting married and was having a tough time pleasing her mother who wanted less people, she wanted more, mother wanted yellow she wanted deep purple, mother wanted, she wanted.
The advice she was given made me furious. “Take her off the wedding list. Tell her she is not invited. Have the day for you and forget about her.” I yelled for the young woman to hear me: “You cannot ever get rid of your parents even if you ignore them. Make peace with them, work it out.”
Schlesinger was relentless. The bride to be agreed to consent to this determined voice and tell her mother to in effect, “get lost”.
I did some research on the good Dr. and realized she was working out her own “stuff” on this vulnerable woman. Schlesinger had not spoken to her own mother for almost 20 years before her death in 2002. The mother’s body was found in her condo two months after she had died from heart disease.
Now, as a leadership educator, relationship expert and family therapist I do understand there are times we have to create strong boundaries to move beyond stuck places. I also know there are the human universals of life that follow us wherever we go. One is the parent child bond. It is best to make peace with our parents and them with us.
When we are in positions of power, when others are ready and willing to listen to us it is better to be a mentor rather than a rescuer. My take on Dr. Laura is that she has spent her life searching for a strong person to tell her what to do, perhaps what she wanted from her parents and never got as a little one.
In “Don’t Bring It to Work” the behavior pattern of rescuer can be transformed into the mentor by learning how to ask questions and by handing those who listen to you the gift of thinking through their own personal responsibility.
Women are gaining a stronger voice with each year. We need to use it wisely.