Sunday, January 15, 2012

Am I in trouble?

My friend did not answer her phone so I left a message: "Hi. It's Leslie. I wanted to talk to you about two things. Give me a ring back when you have a few moments."

When she called back she said, "I feel like I'm being called into the principal's office."

Uh-oh.

I get it. I've felt that way myself. In fact, I often feel that way when my mother leaves a message. I had, in fact, phoned my friend to pay her a complement and also to ask a favor.

Our conversation then turned to why we react this way. She thinks it's Good Girl Syndrome. I can see that. Rachel Simmons did an entire book on it: The Curse of the Good Girl.

I spoke with my ice cream sister-in-law a week later and she mentioned that she spent her childhood as a rules follower and to some extent, still does so today. We have that in common. I show up at school registration with all the forms filled out and am frustrated by people who slow down the process because they haven't. I understand the return policy at Target and don't ask the clerks to circumvent it. There are fewer conflicts if you understand the guidelines.

However, I've long said that rules are not made for people with twins. So I've broken my fair share there and in business. As a woman in technology, and someone who has seen three start-ups to IPO, it's been a proven technique.

I do not wish to be 13 again. Nor do I wish it for you.

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