Around here, once a lady starts seeing a guy, courtship is usually assumed to be in process, especially when he starts introducing her to his family and friends.
Automatically, the lady comes under close scrutiny, most especially from the guy’s family members. Expectations become ‘high’ and she is immediately placed on a scale and starts getting weighed based on different parameters.
Understandably, questions begin to emerge.
Who is she?
Where is she from?
What does she do?
How old is she?
Who is her father?
These are somewhat basic but it soon graduates to the ridiculous if care is not taken…
That care is what I want us to discuss
An unaware single lady does herself a lot of disservice when she puts herself in a position that encourages disrespect and veiled insults from her prospective in laws.
How do you avoid a situation in which you are walked all over?
How do you hold your own in the midst of negative societal expectations from the prospective daughter and sister in law?
Long before going into a relationship, a very, very long time before you even start contemplating marriage, please and please, work on your self-esteem. The role a healthy self-esteem plays in the quality of life we live generally cannot be over emphasised but in particular, the role it plays in the way we present ourselves to the world in general and to people in particular can only be described as being HUGE!
I wish I knew this about 31 years ago when I started the dating game.
Nobody, not even the queen of England gets born with a healthy self-esteem in place. We are either nurtured and groomed into having one from childhood or we notice our deficiency later in life and take steps to get our esteem shored up.
When a lady’s self-esteem is low, then anything goes. It negatively affects the expectation she has of the way she ought to be responded to and of course the treatment she allows to be meted out to her.
The reason this is a key element is that whatever we allow and permit, we may find difficult to subsequently reject or complain about. A healthy self-respect from the word go ensures you have a correct estimation of yourself and it doesn’t have to be over bloated. It is a sieve through which what you are offered is unconsciously passed through.
The interesting thing is that It starts with your Romeo. He will treat you right and if he has unruly relatives, he will put them in check. Remember one of my previous posts?
Funke’s husband fought his parents hands down on their expectation that he will continue living in the family house along with his new bride, together with his parents! She never got involved in the discussion. She did not even know about it because her husband already knew she was confident enough to reject such an arrangement.
It is important to have enough esteem to know yourself. Know what sits well with you per time and what you can’t tolerate. It affects your ability to say No, albeit respectfully.
Can those of us who are married and raising sons and daughters be deliberate about infusing our children with a healthy self-esteem? When we do that, we arm them with the ability to choose rightly.
Some statements we ignorantly make are self-esteem crushers.
I remember growing up as a chatty, fearless young girl. My mother’s constant chiding and reference to the fact that one behaviour or the other wouldn’t be acceptable in a ‘husband’s house’ was an esteem crusher.
We need to stop giving our young girls or ladies the erroneous impression that all they are being groomed for is marriage. We need to equip them with the skills needed to detect and reject abuse or insults even in their subtle forms – a healthy self-esteem does that well.
Watch this space for the other ways in which a single lady can be fully prepared for in law relations.
Please feel free to share your stories and your perspectives on this all important need for self-esteem in relationships.