How being a “good girl” affects us

Because we all want to be loved and to be important to others, especially those closest to our hearts, when our parents or other trusted people told us to be “good girls,” it was easy to acquiesce for fear of losing their love if we refused. By giving in to this pressure to maintain our “good girl” standing with our community, however, we incurred personal losses. Many of these costs persist for years and follow us well past the time we were truly girls.

  • We give up our authenticity. We lose that naturalness with which we were born and much of the freedom we experienced in our early years.
  • Any aspect of ourselves that falls outside of the list of “good girl” qualities leads us to judge (condemn) that part of our self. We deny, hide, or otherwise seek to remove that quality of ourselves so that neither we, nor anyone else, will have to deal with our “badness.”
  • Because we’re human and not merely the “good girl” we’re told to be, we start to feel self-judgment and often begin to withdraw the self-love which was our birthright. Fearing loss of the love of others, coupled with our own abandonment of ourselves, we become even more susceptible to the “good girl” messages in the hopes that somehow we can win back the love and affection for which we yearn.
  • Concerned and consumed with the opinions of others, we often don’t even know our own minds. The less we know about how we feel, what we want, and what’s true for us, the more dependent we become on others to tell us what’s important. When we do have to rely on our own discernment of what’s “right” and “wrong,” we feel uncertain and may lack confidence to powerfully advocate for our position.
  • Fear to express our truths, follow our hearts, speak our minds, and be our full selves leads us to miss our own unique life path and likely not fulfill our true callings. We may be living someone else’s script for our life rather than authoring our own story.

Are the costs of being the “good girl” really worth what we get in exchange?