The way out of playing the “good girl” or turning into a “bad girl”
After I wrote the last Article about„why I don’t want to be a good girl anymore”, I got some feedback from people telling me that they were relieved to read the end.
Simply, because the opposite of a “good girl” – is usually a “bad girl”.
In our use of language, a “good girl” is something we expect our kids to be when we go to a doctor’s appointment, when Aunt Martha comes in for a visit or during any other social interactions.
Having this definition in mind, I understand why my readers were curious/worried what this article was all about.
In this article, I will share with you why I came to the conclusion, that trying to be a good girl is a bad idea and what I learned about that subject in my own life.
In the next article, I will share with you practical step of unbecoming that “good girl”, entering into a freedom to be who you really are.
The main problem about being a “good girl” is that she’s trying to please others. It is about appearance. It is about social norms and acceptance.
In my experience – and what I observe with “good girls” around me, is that there is this deep feeling of inadequacy, of not being enough, acceptable, lovable, capable, worthy by simply being yourself.
The lower our self-esteem is, the stronger that feeling of inadequacy becomes, which results in us trying to be that “good girl” even more, be it for our friends, family, church environment, workplace etc.
On the other hand, there are precious people I know, who, adding to the fact that they felt totally inadequate by who they are, also felt incapable to pretend being that “nice girl” – and went to the other side, living the life of a “bad girl”.
Trying to be that “good girl” I many times met the feeling of inadequacy. Inadequate to be myself and inadequate to be that good girl I tried to be.
My emotional world messed up many situations as I tried to manage to be a “good girl”. I definitely hated the fact, that I sabotaged myself in my effort to be that polite, quiet, obedient, serving, endearing, sweet, gentle – and nice person I thought I needed to be in order to be loved, in order to get somewhere in life and in order to please God.
I still remember the day, when God explained to me how HE saw this whole matter.
He was talking to me (not audibly, but very clearly to my heart) through this painting of Rembrandt.
He told me:
“Jeanne, you are like this prodigal son. You feel lost, alone, unworthy, unlovable… you messed up many things, failed many times in life, in things that were of such importance to you.
I want to embrace you for who you are – I want to cherish you, restore you into your God-given identity – exactly like this father in the picture longed for.”
I was deeply touched.
But God continued to talk to me:
“Jeanne, you are like this older son too. Do you see him? Do you see the look on his face? He looks at the younger son with denigration and disgust. He’s very angry. After all, he was trying to be that good boy, working hard for his father, working hard like a servant. He was always a polite, quiet, obedient, serving, endearing, sweet, gentle – and good person. He thinks that his father’s action to receive “this son of his” back like this is totally inappropriate and unfair.
He sees all the efforts I put into being that nice girl, into being polite, quiet, obedient, serving, endearing, sweet and gentle.
But then he told me that my essence, who I really am – isn’t to be found exclusively in my willingness to do right by trying to be a good girl.
That he loved me. With my emotions. With the part of me that is not perfect at all. With that part of me, that is capable of mistakes, failures – that part of me that fails to be perfect, no matter how much I try.
Now I was shocked. That blew my mind.
Was I like that by just being myself?
Does God really see me like that?
I had to admit that this was true.
- I hated this part of me that wasn’t perfect.
- That part of me that sabotaged my efforts to be that “good girl”.
- I hated my many emotions that were many times uncontrollable in situations I needed them to be “nice and calm”.
- I hated the fact that I couldn’t speak fluently, above all in situations, when I tried to make a good impression on those around me, but came through stuttering, which is something I have carried with me throughout my life until today.
- I was very angry at myself that I couldn’t be that “nice girl” in the family I grew up, where I experienced more rejection than love, due to my “bad and emotional” behavior.
- I was very upset at myself for the things I did with my immaturity or ignorance.
To hear how God sees that whole situation blew my mind.
I understood that I had to learn to embrace myself, who I was, with my whole imperfection.
That this was the way to freedom, the way out of using my life trying to be that “nice girl”.
The way that will spare me the pain of becoming a “bad girl”.
The way to freedom, into my identity and destiny.
Yesterday, I was on the phone with my friend. We were sharing our hearts, talking about “good girls”, perfection, acceptance and being free.
She told me: “I’ve never met anyone who radiates such a peace, about who she is, like you do. She added: “I know you well. You are not that kind of person who radiates perfection. You are the kind of girl who radiates love, acceptance, grace and knowing your God.
I love that about you.“
I was very impressed – and grateful.
God has lead me such a long way.
There are still moments when I feel shame, insecurity, or when I am angry with myself when I made an important mistake.
However, today, I know the truth of God’s view of it. And I learn to adapt my view (followed by my feelings) to how God sees me and my imperfection.
In the next article I want to share with you, what keys have helped me to quit trying to be that “good girl” who is striving for perfection in order to be lovable – to enter into freedom and identity.