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Oh, It Was Nothing, Really
As advocates working for clients with grave medical problems, or clients who battle their insurance companies to get what they need for their care, or could lose their entire financial foundations due to overwhelming medical bills, our work results in lifesaving and quality-of-life saving outcomes every day. That’s what we do. And then, when someone thanks us, way too many of us deflect the compliment. “Oh, it was nothing, really.” Nothing? It’s as if we are embarrassed to have been thanked, even though we are – secretly – pleased. This disconnect in our response to being thanked and recognized came to mind twice over the past few days. It was a topic during our marketing workshop in Seattle, and then last evening, it showed up on the news in the form of a story about teaching girls about self-esteem by teaching them to brag. Yes – seriously! – teaching them to brag! Imagine that! Especially imagine that in the same world where most of us were taught strictly and purposefully NEVER to brag. “It’s not polite,” we were told. People will think less of you if you do! Little did your parents know when when they taught you not to brag (and yes, we need to recognize that this was beaten into the psyche of girls in a much larger way than boys) – that they were setting us up to fail in business. Now, granted, I’m sure none of our parents thought, “Oh, I’m going to teach my children never to brag so they will fail in business.” No – not that at all. They were only teaching us to be modest, demure and reserved…. because back in the day, (especially for women of a certain age, in the days when we expected to go to college for our MRS degrees so we could be supportive of the men in our lives) – that was how women of class and stature behaved. Most men, on the other hand, were expected to learn to be politely competitive in a men’s business world. It’s actually a huge chasm between demure and…