A woman’s beliefs make up the core of her being. They shape her thought life, her personality, her decision making process, her actions, and ultimately the direction of her life. Therefore it is vital to seek out and find truth, to keep looking until the answers come, and to surround oneself by inspiring company and habits that continually affirm one’s beliefs. Questioning one’s beliefs and the truths one encounters is part of the process toward finding oneself and what one truly believes in. It should not, however, be an end in itself, but rather a step on the path toward firmer faith and a surer footing. Thus, when a woman finds herself at a point, common for many people, where she questions why she does what she does, she may rest upon the firm foundation of her trusted worldview. It is helpful to establish one’s beliefs early on rather than later in life, to save time and avoid traveling paths ending in regrets and futility. Part of the reason why some people may not begin establishing beliefs until they are older is because of the tendency of youth to be swayed or rattled by the opinions of others. It is easier at times to remain silent when in disagreement, or to go along with others for the sake of conformity. It is especially easier when the others are people with whom one already has much in common, friends of one’s own choosing—for who wants to be the one to cause confrontation or disagreement within a group of regularly like-minded people? But the truth is that no matter how much they have in common, it is impossible to find even two people who agree on absolutely everything; thus, having a dissenting opinion is an inevitable fact of life. Today’s post will discuss some tips and methods for a proper, courteous lady to know when and how to display her mindset and stand up for her beliefs.
As implied by the grandiose tone of the words “Stand up for one’s beliefs,” taking a major stance for an unpopular opinion (such as politics, social services, religion, philosophy, worldviews, personal creeds, or parenting, to name a few examples) is something that only happens rarely. I have read in some etiquette manuals that it is never in good taste for a lady to discuss religion, politics, or personal ethos in polite company. However, in today’s age of constant plugging in and social media, sharing thoughts, news articles, opinion polls, and creeds is hardly avoidable. To know when to get involved is the first decision a well-bred lady should make.
A lady should not frequently engage in controversial statements and express her opinion, as this will only make her look catty and trivial while lessening the meaning of her words. People eventually stop listening to the woman who argues and opines too much, so she must choose her battles carefully. But though a well-bred woman will keep strongly opinionated statements to a minimum, she will never be afraid to speak when she feels it is necessary. She knows the difference between arguing and opining on everything versus sharing opinions and counter-views only when it is extremely important to her.
When the time comes to speak, a well-bred lady need not avoid confrontation nor be afraid to share her opinion, even if it is not in the majority. Her words are valuable and her insight is unique, and just as she graciously extends others the courtesy to hear and evaluate their opinions and stances, so the same courtesy ought to be returned to her. The way a woman argues her point goes a long way toward building credibility: hostility, generalization, opinions without supporting facts, and facts without proof tend to turn off her listeners to her point of view. She need not be upset when her viewpoint is questioned, but rather should use the opportunity to sweetly and firmly make her point, without resorting to back and forth argumentation, nit-picking, or backing down from her original statements just because she cannot make someone else agree with her. If her logic is shown to be faulty, she may choose to graciously modify her stance, but always coming across as wanting to be corrected (even by someone speaking rudely or badgering), apologizing, or self-deprecating will make her look weak. Once she feels she has sufficiently made her point, clarifying if necessary and answering questions others may have, she will rest her case, knowing that in a vast quantity of words wisdom is lost.
On the path toward becoming a well-bred lady, let every woman stand up for what she believes in and stick to her words, even when it is not popular. A thorough knowledge of what she believes will be her firm foundation for making argumentative, unpopular, or confrontational statements.