I am a good girl
The "good girl" sticker triggered me today. My deconditioning has led me to face what a good girl is, where the idea came from and then why I wanted to be one so badly.It's surrounded by people pleasing, avoiding confrontation, being obedient, being seen not heard, achieving in all the right areas, not rocking the boat and doing what you 'should' do (rather than what feels right for you).
I am naturally avoidant, keep the peace and make everyone happy. I also thought being told I was a good girl would help prove I was worthy...but it was never enough.
After her x-ray Allegra got this sticker and of course it means something much deeper to me than to her. So out of curiosity I asked her....
"What does it mean to be a good girl?"
"Well it means you do what you're told to do, no talking back. Even if you don't want to."
It starts early, doesn't it? After much thought, I realised that it's not actually the words "good girl" that get my back up, but how they are used. I have no problem with saying good girl followed by specific feedback. eg "Good girl you just tied your shoelaces all by yourself. Well done!"
I get worried when it is used to manipulate behaviour or thoughts. When being the "good girl" is used as a 'do as I say' or 'do the right thing.' eg. "Come on, be a good girl or Santa will not come." "Good girls keep their room tidy/ listen to their parents/ eat all their dinner"
And although I say good girl, you can apply the same to boys as well, they have the same amount of social and behavioural conditioning as young girls.
Maybe if you take a quiet moment to think about when you have been told you're a good girl, or when you have used those words, then ponder on the motivation behind it. I know there are things I will do now as an adult because as a child I was led to believe that it was the right thing for me (as a good girl) to do. People pleasing and the need to feel worthy from the praise of others runs very deep!