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Gutsy Moves:  The Women Who Made Them

by Bonita Bennett

GUTS! You either have ’em or you don’t.  Liking yourself is the basis for it. When you like yourself, you develop the courage to be you.  And when you can be yourself and enjoy the view, you can rise above the mediocrity that exists in the world and venture to do what is not expected and leave a most lasting impression.   Classic behavior is mostly fearlessness mixed with cool confidence and is mostly carried out by those who have high self-esteem, a serious commitment to inner peace, and a deep understanding that respect is usually inspired.

Cases In Point:

The “Compliment:”   When a female acquaintance, known to be petty, walked up to Kara (who was  dating a very wealthy guy) at a party and complimented her dress, she followed (in a snide voice)  with the question…“Did Bill buy that for you?”  Kara smoldered in anger, but replied softly, “I’m sure you don’t know that’s an impolite question, or you wouldn’t have asked it, but I still appreciate the compliment.  Thank you.”

The Confrontation: Lynn was out on a date one night when a woman followed her into the ladies’ room at a popular club and introduced herself as the “woman” of the guy she was with.  She explained to Lynn that they were engaged to be married.  “He belongs to me,” she said, between clenched teeth, “and I want you to stay away from him.” Instead of getting angry though she felt scared, Lynn decided to try and reason with the woman.  She didn’t know if the woman was crazed or carrying a weapon.  She took the woman by the hand and sat her down on the sofa. 

“Honey,” she began in a kind tone, “does this act make sense to you?  First of all, this man is single, and if he is your ‘man’ and I stop seeing him, what’s to stop him from seeing someone else.  If he has a need to see other women, then there will always be a woman for you to make this speech to.  Look at you. Do you see yourself as desperate?  Only desperation can provoke a woman to take this action.   The only person you should be confronting is you and your actions, not someone else.  Now, I hope you don’t ever feel pushed enough again to approach me or any other woman over a man.  It’s just not smart behavior.”  With that, the woman broke down in tears, apologized, and ended up confessing that she no longer dated the guy, because he had dumped her, but she still loved him.  Lynn left her still crying and rejoined her date and never mentioned the incident to him.

The Decision: Carin was frustrated and angry, but she didn’t know what to do about it.  Her friend Joan was again asking for favors that Carin felt were way over the edge of their friendship.  Joan had a hot temper and Carin didn’t want to confront her or say something that could be upsetting.  But the more she thought about it, the more she realized she was putting Joan’s feelings above her own.  Joan wanted to borrow $300.00 AGAIN and Carin didn’t want to loan it to her.  She also wanted Carin to babysit for her and felt it was her obligation as a friend because she had a date on Saturday night, and Carin didn’t. 

In the past, Carin had granted such favors and Joan had never paid her back when promised, and always stayed out longer hours than stated when she babysat for her.  Carin decided to tell Joan the truth and risk the friendship.  She called and told her that she didn’t like to loan money, and therefore would stop.  She also stated that Joan’s expectations of a friendship were too high and that she could no longer accommodate her babysitting needs.  Joan never called her again and Carin felt relief as she experienced the demise of a toxic relationship.

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