Monday, May 10, 2010

Confidence in your decisions

Symbol of France Marianne

One thing I have noticed in my readings about French women is they are so confident. They are in their ability to look good and still natural, say what they think, walk away from a situation they don't like--whether it be at work or in a relationship, and they make no apologies for it! In some aspects of my life, this is easy. In others...not so much.
I always find myself second guessing when it comes to friends or romantic relationships. Could I have done better? What is it that I could do better? Rather than also look equally or more at the other person, I always rethink, requestion, reanalyze the situation. Lately, with Buddhist inspiration, and adding French flair, I've been trying not to do this. However, being a certain way almost 27 years of my life has made old habits hard to break. Why is that, according to these books I read, French women can demand what they want and just walk away more easily from difficult relationships than most American women can? Where do they get this unapologetic attitude? I want that. I want that strength. Don't get me wrong, when a man on the street comes at me with a tone or a woman tries to walk all over me, I stand up and declare my refusal to put up with it. I'm not talking about those things. I'm talking about those personal relationships that you've been in for a while--that get uncomfortable, hurtful, even painful, and when the time comes, for some reason it's hard to let go.
Of course, I am majorly generalizing here, as American women can be strong and unapologetic, and French women can be indecisive and worried. However, as whole, there seems to be more French women in the first category. I'm hoping to understand this by reading more and trying to emulate this behavior through meditation.
What's their secret? Why do they do this? How do they do this? How can I do this in my own life and not look back so much? These are the questions I am trying to answer. These are the things I need to do not just to learn to let go but to really see what it's like to live on my terms. My rules. It's my life after all. Shouldn't I be making them?


  1. Well, I don't know about America, but here in Australia we certainly have a people-pleaser culture. I grew up in Europe so it was more obvious to me when I moved to Australia. There is a subtle pressure to "be nice" to others, put your happy face on, etc. Displays of emotion are OK as long as they are within acceptable range, but being overwhelmingly happy and incredibly upset should be done in the privacy of one's home. And no one likes angry people.

    I think it is more acceptable in Europe to display your true feelings whatever they may be. Except Britain of course! ;)

    That's my take on it anyway...

  2. Interesting input! That is true...I feel it's not only a fake pressure to be nice but also here, at least, a fear of walking away from things sometimes--esp if that's what you really need. It seems like French women are more confident to do this.

  3. Lajeve, believe you me - us Brits display our true feelings as much as the next man or woman and even the French! I spend a lot of time in France and different parts of the U.S. (infact, I spend a lot of time travelling the globe, so see many different cultures and meet many different people).
    Changing the subject slightly - the U.S. used to pride themselves on 'service with a smile' but now you are lucky to get service! Don't get me wrong - Britain isn't any better but France is!
    And might I add, on a recent trip visiting Australia, everyone I encountered and indeed the culture was truly fantastic.
    As a Brit and a Francophile, I believe I have the best of both worlds. Oh and Anne - you are so right not to's a filthy, deadly, vile habit. Not smoking will help keep your skin youthful (so long as you don't over do the tanning) and your body strong.

  4. That's very true...Americans have gotten very rude and often don't have manners...depending on where you go. I would really like to see how Australia is too, if not for the people for the wildlife. It looks amazing!!
    Yeah, tanning is something I never do. As you can see by the pictures, I have that Irish/English complexion and don't tan! Perhaps, it's for the better in the long run.

    I appreciate your input!

  5. It's interesting - Australians keep whinging that our customer service is really crap and Europe does it much better! :)

    As for smoking, I recently looked up a few French actresses on the net and was actually surprised how badly they've aged - wrinkled and prune-y looking... could be their rather low weight too. Smoking has a lot to answer for beauty-wise, I remember reading that it interferes with collagen production which deteriorates as we age anyway...