Hi, I am confused about myself and my career. I am always on point and wish to be treated with respect by my co-workers. I find that they often resent me. I’m not sure if I actually am entitled, or if they just dislike a confident, competent woman.
I do think there is something special about me. I came from a really bad family (alcoholism, gambling addiction, etc.) and started working at 12 to help pay bills. I did well in high school, got into an excellent university and graduated. So I think I do have great work ethic and intelligence. I also feel that I deserve to be treated with respect and that I should earn a comfortable wage. Everyone else thinks I am crazy for trying to negotiate for more money, or trying to get eligible for more training at work.
What do you think?
Your short letter provides only a glimpse into your situation. It seems, from what you have written, that you have a high level of self-esteem. You respect yourself and expect others to treat you with this same level of respect. You worked hard for what you have earned and expect to be compensated for your efforts. The question becomes are you accurate in these perceptions? This question can be best answered by the results that are obtained. How are you advancing in your career? How well liked are you by those around you? If you are special or entitled (based on your accomplishments) and thus demand to be treated as such, are you then willing to treat someone, who has more accomplishments and according to your reasoning would be more “special” and more “entitled,” with more respect than you are receiving?
You might be experiencing backlash for number of possible reasons. Those around you may be envious. Envy can breed resentment. Or perhaps, you are behaving in a manner that those around you find to be pretentious.
Another possibility is that some people might perceive your self-confidence as narcissistic. You mentioned your belief that there is “something special” about you. Some people might have a negative reaction to a person declaring themselves “special.”
Your self-confidence might be complicating your social and or family relationships but in the work arena, it can be beneficial. Recent studies have shown that women who demonstrated “masculine traits,” which include aggression, assertiveness and confidence, received more promotions than men and twice as many promotions as women who demonstrated more “feminine traits.”
It is healthy to have self-confidence, but humility is universally seen as a virtue and a sign of greatness. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle