Giving Your Inner Child a Holiday Present in 7 Easy Steps

Giving Your Inner Child a Holiday Present in 7 Easy Steps

If this holiday season is like most for you, it probably involves running around taking care of everyone else but yourself. This may involve you feeling the pressure to send a card to everyone you know with a personalized note, even if you have forgotten their birthday; buying gifts for the key members of your that indicate how much you value them, even if they have been awful to you all year; hosting a series of dinner or parties where everything is cooked and baked by you, even if pizza and takeout are regularly featured in your weekly dinners. 

Sound familiar?

Holidays and Your Inner Child

The reason why you feel you must plug the emotional gaps for those you know and those who you care about may have more to do with early messages in childhood where what was prized, and perhaps modeled, was taking care of everyone else before you take care of yourself. These messages, instructions, rules to live by are stored within us in what I’ll call your inner child, the remembered part of your childhood that can take over, guiding your actions, particularly in emotionally fraught times like Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve. 

No, I’m not going to say stick it to everything that is planned and is expected of you, and then change everything at literally the last moment (even thought that may not be a bad idea). But I will show you how you can soothe and moderate these expectations by taking care of yourself. 

Sound impossible? 

Use Your Senses to Center Yourself

You are a human being with feelings and senses. Yes, you’re busy, but you can use your senses to help slow yourself down and help you feel more in control. Also called mindfulness, this paying attention to your senses can help soothe you and center you. And who knows, It may even make you more productive.

Try these seven simple tips:

  • Feel the bubbles made by the dish soap in the endless washing up you will be doing. Play with them, enjoy their smoothness and sense of play. 
  • See the clouds scudding in the sky, the moon winking at you, the trees moving in the breeze. Take a deep breath as you walk, or run, through your day, and appreciate the beauty before you. 
  • Smell and savor the delicious aromas of the cakes and cookies you are baking, or the roast you have seasoned. 
  • Sense the warmth of the sun, or the tingle of snowflakes, or the crystal clearness of raindrops as you hurry through your shopping. 
  • Say positive things to yourself:
  • These bubbles are fun.
  • I love my own cooking.
  • I deserve to see this beauty.
  • I’m doing well here. 
  • This looks great. 
  • I love the smell of the air just before it snows.
  • Own the power you have to bring joy to others by seeing and allowing yourself to “take in” the delight on the faces of those you love.
  • Note the rewards you want to give yourself:
  • Like the bubbles? How about a bubble bath on a regular basis?
  • Like noticing what you’re doing well? Consider writing your own personal daily affirmations. Yes, take the ten seconds it will require to do this regularly—you’re worth it.

My suggestions will take only seconds and not delay you in any task, but they will make whatever you are doing more enjoyable by making space for you, your needs, while you are being so productive in taking care of everyone else. 

Know that when you create even these thin slivers, these tiny moments where you are in touch with yourself, you are feeding your inner child by recognizing your needs and your wants, a skill that may not have been taught to you as a child. 

Making Changes—Developing Resilience

We can all learn from out stressful experiences. When we do this, it’s called resilience. Want to be resilient in the New Year? Then, consider changing a few things: 

  • Play with pairing down the list of what you are pushing yourself to do. Want to experiment this holiday season?  
    • For example, consider sending out a Valentine’s card, with a letter that goes to those you care about. Or better yet, send out an email blast for St. Patrick’s Day with an update on you and yours. Not only will you have more time and energy in the coming months than you do now, but think how special your recipients will feel to be remembered when it isn’t Christmas or their birthday.
  • Make simple changes. They will be the easiest to do and will be more likely to stick.
    • Take two golden minutes for yourself as you begin and end your day. Enjoy your coffee or tea as you gaze out the window. Do some gentle neck rolls, set an intention of something you’d like to do for you today, like take the stairs instead of the elevator, or pack some grapes or an apple for a snack at work. 
  • Write a good New Year’s resolution. Feel you can’t change course midstream, and want to wait for a really good New Year’s resolution? Take notes on all the things you’d like to do differently next year. Yes, literally write them down in your journal. 
    • For example, make next Christmas’s dinner a family potluck where you’re only making the turkey or other main course. Collect these ideas for the next eleven months and you’ll set yourself up for a less stress-filled and more balanced holiday celebration next year.

Write and let me know how you took care of yourself …

Wishing you a more peaceful holiday season. 

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, is a speaker, a consulting psychologist in upstate New York, and the author of nine books, including The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan and The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power: 12 Steps to Self-Parenting. She is a regular blogger at The Powerful Woman. Learn more at

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

How Larry Nassar Reinforced Your Girly Thoughts

Today I met with a friend for tea. We discussed the recent sexual abuse trial of Dr. Larry Nassar, a pedophile who for over twenty-five years abused not only Olympians, but also young children of friends. We discussed being riveted by the testimony of these brave young women who decided to hold USA Gymnastics and our greater societal culture of silence about sexual abuse accountable for their abuse. We discussed our passionate support for Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, who received criticism for creating “drama” in her courtroom by allowing 156 of Nassar’s victims to have a voice by confronting their perpetrator, Aly Raisman receiving criticism for suing the US Olympic Committee over the Nassar abuse, and we concluded that there is still a steep road for women to climb when it comes to speaking out.


My friend teared up. I became angrier. Such are the responses of women around the world. This unmasking of men in trusted positions who have systematically abused young girls, teens, and adult women is an emotional roller coaster for all of us.


How Could He Get Away With It?


Predators like Larry Nassar, MD, cloak themselves with respectability, something that other adults see and admire. Nassar was supposed to be the best, a doctor who was there to heal the injuries of our Olympian gymnasts, our teenage heroines who torque and push themselves into beautiful forms. But finding him guilty bumped up against another societal standard: if something happens, say something or else you are somehow complicit.

Speaking up is important and may work for many groups who feel they have a voice, but often not for women, who society has rendered silent in many ways—until now. The answer to the question Why didn’t they speak out sooner? is imbedded deep within our cultural expectations—our girly thoughts.

Your Girly Thoughts—Why You Don’t Speak Up

Children are so vulnerable because they want to believe the best in the adults around them. But female children carry an additional, special burden. All girls receive an important societal message that being the good girl—sweet, passive, attractive, quiet, pure—is important if they are to be valued.

I’ve named these toxic societal messages that girls receive. I call them girly thoughts, which is an obnoxious but memorable name for how teens and women learn to do to themselves what society does to them: hold themselves to impossible standards where they need to be all the above plus being responsible for everything negative that happens to them.

What the Nassar trial clearly demonstrated through the testimony of these brave athletes and Olympians is that these early messages do not evaporate when girls reach their teens, or even when they reach adulthood, or even if they receive a medal.

Your Girly Thoughts Blame You!

As women, we know that to speak up we need to confront the blame women have been conditioned to feel for any untoward response that comes their way. Whether it’s a cat call while walking to work, or, as is this case, not having the ability as an elementary school girl to confront a doctor who she was told was there to help her, this blame for “bringing it on ourselves” is ubiquitous.

Let’s take a moment and look at how feeling the blame contained in your girly thoughts keeps you silent.

  • You blame yourself for not preventing the sexual abuse—yes, even if you were a child. The girly thought here is I should have known it was wrong.
  • You blame yourself for somehow being responsible for the sexual abuse, as in what did you do to make this person do this? The girly thought here is I have responsibility for being abused. I should have made it stop.
  • You fear that to speak up means to be judged by others as somehow complicit in what occurred—even if you were a child or someone of lesser power in a relationship. The girly thought here is that if you mention anything, it was somehow your responsibility to have stopped it.
  • You are judged as a bad girl. The girly thought here is I can’t live with the shame of others knowing that I was sullied; what will they think of me?

Healing Yourself Begins with Outing Your Girly Thoughts

Healing yourself from sexual abuse is a journey that begins with stopping your participation in the blame game, where the only result is that you feel totally responsible. Doing this involves some concrete steps you can begin to take today:


  • Don’t drink away your frustrations and try to numb your hurt. That will just lead to feeling bad later, making you less likely to take positive action.
  • Don’t eat away your frustration and pain. This will only give more reason to be angry with yourself.
  • And don’t keep listening to your toxic girly thoughts!  


  • Challenge how peers, family members, neighbors, and others speak about women.
  • Support people in government who support women.
  • Confront the culture that teaches girls and women to blame themselves by identifying the sources that reinforce this thinking
    • in advertisements of photoshopped perfect bodies,
    • in storylines in the movies and on TV, and
    • in how women are forced to dress in some news shows.
  • Stop feeling ashamed of yourself—share your girly thoughts with your family and friends.
  • Change how you speak about yourself. Move from being a victim and needing to be rescued to someone who thrives.
  • Gain support from other sexual abuse survivors at
  • Learn more about supporting women who don’t have a voice at

Don’t get frustrated, stay up for the challenge, and know that from here we’re not going back, because we are learning to support each other.

To quote Oprah: I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon!” And to this I add, a day with no girly thoughts.

Email your stories about how your girly thoughts led you in the problematic direction:

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.


Is Your Mother Driving You To Drink?

All holidays are stressful and they’re coming up. It’s either the good stress of trying to do all you have planned for those you love or the dread you feel about again being in certain family situations that you felt you “escaped” as an adult. Or maybe it’s a combination of the two.

As complicated as family gatherings are, perhaps the most anxiety-provoking is when you are again going to need to be in contact with your mother. You love her, and you will gather with others to celebrate her, but you worry about her and her unacknowledged problems.

Your mother was your first role model for so much in your life. Perhaps she carved a clear path that you followed, one that afforded you a route toward of owning your power and joining with other women who developed avenues that afforded them having a voice in their own lives.

Or maybe your mother was like Lily Myers’s mother, a complex woman plagued by her own demons who tried to drink them away, a mother who created a model of womanhood that you felt you needed to push against for your own survival.

Take a moment and watch this short video as you ask yourself if this seems familiar to you.

Source: Lily Myers “Shrinking Women”

Drinking Away Your Demons—Your Girly Thoughts

What you learned in that powerful video is the way so many women internalize societal messages about what weight they should be, what age they should never move past, how they should stuff their sorrows—what I have named girly thoughts: the inner toxic self-talk that robs women of their energy, desire, and confidence.

These girly thoughts act like inner demons, constantly berating a woman and resulting in so many women doing what Lily’s mother does: drinking away their feelings. This leaves their daughters angry, confused, and longing for the mother they need.

If your mother is like Lily’s:

  • share with her what she is doing and give her the name girly thoughts. Why? Because naming something gives you power over it.
  • identify together when either one of you is thinking a girly thought.
  • use the term girly thoughts with your mother and your friends as a shorthand way of sharing how you are beating yourself up.
  • identify the sources of your girly thoughts—ads, TV shows, and movies are a good place to start.
  • encourage your mother to go to an AA meeting to begin to look at her drinking, while you attend the Al-Anon meeting down the hall and see how you have been impacted by her drinking. What a gift this would be to help your mother begin her own recovery.

For better or worse, your mother gave you what she had, girly thoughts and all. But this doesn’t have to be the end of your story. Recovery from alcoholism and from girly thoughts can make you and your mother closer as you develop a bond based on supporting each other. Work as a team to develop coping skills that don’t involve drinking away your problems or beating yourself up for having those girly thoughts. What a great way to ensure that the next family gathering will be really filled with joy.

Photo courtesy of

Email your stories about how your girly thoughts led you in the wrong direction:

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power

Want a Memorable St. Patrick’s Day? – Try Sobriety


Are you making BIG plans for St. Patrick’s Day? Consider making this St. Patrick’s Day a sober one—for your sake.

Pub Crawl, Anyone?

St. Patrick’s Day used to be a day for families to celebrate the best in Irish culture. This included everything from proudly marching in a local parade to the “wearing of the green” to buttons that proclaimed “Kiss Me, I’m Irish.” It was a day of fun, laugher, even silliness, where toddlers could be seen perched on their fathers’ shoulders to watch a marching band, and teens and their parents wore clothes that weren’t the height of fashion but were worn because they were green.

Today, you’ll still find the parades and the wearing of the green, but added to this mix is the pub crawl, complete with maps posted on social media sites of which bars to hit in which order; the goal is to go from bar to bar getting as drunk as possible. Men and women can be seen trouping along in a group drunk, laughing, throwing up, stumbling, kissing strangers, being groped, being culled out of their group to head off with a stranger, and having a grand old time.

ARE they having a grand old time?

Ask yourself if this how you want to spend your St. Patrick’s Day.

Don’t Let Your Girly Thoughts Drive You to Drink

There is so much pressure to go along with the crowd, to be part of things with your friends, even things that may not be the best for you. One reason why women get drunk on days like St. Patrick’s Day is because they have internalized toxic societal messages—which I have named girly thoughts—that tell them to be desirable they need to engage in all sorts of harmful behaviors. Getting drunk on St. Patrick’s Day is one of those behaviors.

Real Consequences

Being part of a drunken St. Patrick’s Day can be dangerous:

Many women have had the experience of waking up after a night of partying and trying to figure out who they are sleeping next to. “Your name again is …?” Not a fun way to begin a relationship for either of you.

Doesn’t sound very merry, does it? Want to have a memorable sexual encounter on St. Patrick’s Day?

How About Going on the Wild Side—and Going Sober

Yes, you can still have a great time while being in control of your body and keeping yourself safe. Check out a Sober St. Patrick Day celebration in a location near you. Here’s their website: I’ll be at the New York City party and look forward to seeing you there !

Photo courtesy of

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD, speaker, a psychologist in upstate New York, and the author of nine books, including The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan and The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power She is a regular blogger at The Powerful Woman and Learn more at

Detoxing From Valentine’s Day


He loves me, he loves me not?

The bigger question is: Why do I care so much?

Well, the BIG Day—Valentine’s Day—has come and gone. This day of tension, caused by the painful and anxious feelings produced by your girly thoughts telling you that your lovability is demonstrated by what your partner does or doesn’t do, is over for this year. A question to ask yourself—because you have total control over this one—is:

Do you want to go through all this drama again next year?

If your answer is no, then this is a time of opportunity. Now, in the aftermath of Valentine’s Day, is your opportunity to learn about yourself, your needs, your wants, and how to take care of yourself. You know that Valentine’s Day was not a referendum on your:

  • worthiness
  • desirability
  • beauty

Do we need to add to this—thank God?

So . . . How Did You Do?

How would you describe your Valentine’s Day? Was it a painful day because you listened to those society-prescribed girly thoughts that resulted in you:

  • feeling defeated because you didn’t feel you had control?
  • feeling anxious?
  • holding your breath waiting for a text, email, call, gift?
  • feeling a tinge of your self-worth hanging in the balance?

Or instead, were you able to kick those girly thoughts aside and:

  • think self-loving thoughts?
  • appreciate your beauty?
  • smile instead of frown when you looked at your face?
  • make this day special for yourself?
  • laugh at all the hype?

And if you didn’t receive what you wanted, did you think, “It’s your loss, buddy”?

What Is Valentine’s Day, Anyway?

Valentine’s Day presents an opportunity to build resilience—that well of strength, of resources, of strategies that work within you—that helps you get through difficult times. 

Looked at this way, Valentine’s Day can be a win/win. By providing a window into your relationship with your partner and into your relationship with yourself, the day:

  • provides an opportunity to see if you have picked someone who can take care of your needs and your wants.
  • gives you an chance to see how well you have done in communicating these same needs and wants to the one who loves you.
  • teaches you about yourself and about building more resilience from the pressure and stress generated by this one day.

Please share your insights into Valentine’s Day with me by sending your comments through my website:

(This blog was originally posted on 2.20.15)

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power



Enjoy Valentine’s Day – Don’t Indulge Your Girly Thoughts

“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet

“You don’t spell it . . . you feel it.” – Pooh

—A.A. Milne, “Winnie The Pooh” 


Perhaps no other holiday creates as much tension as Valentine’s Day. This is the day of love, of being loved, of receiving gifts, all of which say that all of your hard work at maintaining your relationship is worth it!

Yes, it is a day of drama, full of tension and storms, the day that keeps us “in the game,” and due to all the disappointments and heartbreaks you have experienced, it is also a day that has helped you grow deep roots.

Girly Thoughts: the Legacy of Fairy Tales

You were raised on tales of Prince Charming coming to your rescue and thereby proving his undying love. You’ve seen numerous movies and read many books where even strong, feisty women are in need of rescuing by the men of their dreams.

While you may no longer be reading fairy tales, you may unconsciously still be living by the messages they taught, messages that are part of the fabric of your girly thoughts, those toxic messages that tell you your self-worth depends largely on how someone else values, even loves you.

Valentine’s Day Is a Day that Proves . . . Your Self-Worth?

Perhaps on no other day do these messages play out as they do on Valentine’s Day . . . the day your “prince” will prove your genuine lovability.

As a result, you probably attach a great deal of importance to the actions of the one you love on this one day.

We pressure our partners to use traditional tokens of love and appreciation—cards, flowers, chocolates, perhaps even Champagne—to demonstrate our importance in their lives and prove their devotion to us. If they fail in some way, we are tempted to feel diminished, less important, and—sadly—unloved or unlovable.

As a Result, You Feel Held Hostage

You put pressure on yourself to be seen and rewarded, signifying that all the sacrifices you made were “worth it.”

And if you are not rewarded as you feel you should be, your girly thoughtstell you the fault lies within you, and you must try harder, do more.

Or your girly thoughts tell you you’re not loveable because you are too old, not exciting, too fat or too thin, and the inner monologue about your real or imagined negative qualities goes on . . . and on . . . and on.

In this way, Valentine’s Day holds you hostage, creating anxiety and uncertainty, draining you of your power as you unwittingly give it over to another person.

This is the exact opposite of what you’d hoped for.

Does Waiting to Be Loved Work for You?

If waiting to be loved actually makes you anxious and miserable, as it does most of us, I suggest an alternative: Why not (also) love yourself?

This isn’t meant to subtract from your loved one’s importance in your life, merely to balance it by also caring for and cherishing yourself.

Yes, you can still be appreciative of the gifts from your partner, boyfriend, or husband, but you also give yourself something perhaps even more important . . . self-love and self-appreciation, instead of indulging those girly thoughts all day!

Appreciate Yourself on Valentine’s Day 

You may be planning a romantic dinner with your boyfriend. If you have children, you may be putting valentines in their lunch boxes. Perhaps you’ll be posting a Valentine’s Day message on Facebook for your friends and family.

But what about you? What can you give yourself on this day of love? Give yourself …well…gifts! Here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Plan what you are going to wear on Valentine’s Day in a leisurely way. Instead of just focusing on what you will be making for dinner, think about yourself. Ask yourself: What looks good on me? Which outfit makes me feel good about myself?What do I feel comfortable wearing?
  • As you wear your favorite clothes on Valentine’s Day, tell yourself: I look really good!
  • Write down two things you really like about yourself. You don’t have to display that list, but put it somewhere you’ll see it—and say those words out loud each time you do. They may be as direct as: I am Smart! I am a Good Friend! I can kick (you know what)!
  • Think of ways you can act on those positive qualities and get others to also see them. For example, if you like your voice, sing in your car, sing at work, or entertain your partner.
  • Give yourself attagirls throughout the day for stepping out of your comfort zone and into your power.
  • Tell yourself . . . I love you. 

Now you’re creating a day full of love. You don’t need to spell love, you just need to feel it within yourself.

Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photo courtesy of

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power


Had Enough Bad Sex? Try Sober Dating

A few weeks ago, a writer for contacted me about an article she was working on—sober dating. I was excited but not surprised that sobriety is being discovered by the women’s media. It was a fun project that produced a terrific article, which I encourage you to read: Eight Amazing Thing You Learn from Sober Dating by Helaina Hovitz.

Here are the high points:

  1. There are a ton of alternatives to grabbing drinks. Bring your creativity into play to find places conducive for getting to know someone. Search out juice bars with evening hours, a nearby park, a fun hike, an art exhibit, or an ice cream shoppe—each can be a place to relax and be curious about the person you are with. The point of a date is getting to know someone, isn’t it? Ruby realized.

But you don’t have to feel you need to avoid alcohol at all costs. If you are comfortable being around alcohol, try ordering a mocktail, which is becoming increasingly trendy in many high-end bars, or even seltzer and lime. This will give you an opportunity to see how comfortable your date is with your choice of no alcohol.

  1. You’ll waste less time on dates that aren’t going anywhere … Being sober changes many relationships, including intimate relationships. You may find you have less patience for dating those who want you to continue to party with them, or those who can’t relax without drinking. You may find yourself thinking things like, I can’t believe I thought this was fun … this is so boring … what did I ever see in him? You may also find, as Esme did, that once she got sober, the man she had been with who continued to drink just didn’t taste or smell right.
  1. And you’ll have fewer face-palm moments the morning after. Carolyn got tired of waking up in the morning and having no memory of what had happened the night before. In fact, I got really tired of not even remembering some of these guys’ names. I realized that I deserved better. Not remembering what happened when you are drinking is called blacking out. A blackout is when the part of your brain that stores recent memory doesn’t work well, and it’s scary. It’s also a serious problem. Consider if you want to live your life without remembering it.
  1. When it comes to sex, you’ll be confident in a real way. For some women, an underlying driver of destructive drinking is their girly thoughts. Getting sober helped Ava understand that part of why she was drinking too heavily was her shame of her body. If she was drunk enough she wouldn’t worry if he saw less-than-perfect buttock, or too large breasts. I stopped listening to my body-shaming girly thoughts! So instead of drinking to try to quiet those girly thoughts, try telling them to get lost, and share them with your girlfriends so you can laugh at them together.
  1. You’ll know whether you’re actually ready to sleep with someone. Many times women have sex because they want to be nice, they want to be wanted, they want to make him happy—all girly thoughts. After being sexually intimate to please someone else, Charlotte realized I wasn’t sexually satisfied, and part of this was because I had never asked myself if I wanted to be with him. He wanted to be with me, and I thought that was enough, but it wasn’t. Not drinking will help you understand if you want a relationship with someone instead of waking up in a relationship with him. It will also help you begin to understand what you want in general and when you are ready to act on what you want in many aspects of your life. Yes, you can take time to figure this out. This is your life, and you deserve to live it the way you would like to.
  1. You’ll start recognizing what you actually want in bed.

Sobriety turned into a fun journey for Enid. I began to understand myself in so many ways, including sexually. In the past there were certain sexual positions I would avoid out of shame. I didn’t want him to see my small breasts, my big bottom, my stretch marks, so I avoided doing some things that would have been pleasurable to me. Now that I’m sober and not drinking away my shaming girly thoughts, I’m more in touch with my body and my sexual needs. Being sober allows me be to be more confident in many areas of my life, including sexually. Begin to fantasize about what you would and would not like sexually.

  1. Your newfound honesty will make your connections deeper. Isn’t that what you really want? Meaningful connections are made by being honest about what you understand and what you accept about who you are and who the man you have chosen is. Sobriety makes this possible. Not only did I find this amazing man who gets me, but I get me, Elizabeth said with a smile. No more booze, no more blackouts, no more girly thoughts, I’m really liking the person I’m getting to know, finally!

(originally posted 2.10.17 Counselor Magazine Blog)


Trump’s Gift to Women

FORT WORTH, TX - FEBRUARY 26: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 26, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump is campaigning in Texas, days ahead of the Super Tuesday primary. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX – FEBRUARY 26: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 26, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump is campaigning in Texas, days ahead of the Super Tuesday primary. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

This campaign season has highlighted realities that women have known for a long time. What is both surprising and gratifying is that men are becoming aware of just how different the societal rules are for women. This may be the Trump’s gift to women. Things have become so extreme that they are obvious—finally.

The Double Standard that Trump Has Made Very Clear

Some of what Trump has dramatically brought to our collective attention, issues that women have been trying to address but with little success, include:

We all know what it is like to have a man invade our personal space, repeatedly, whether this is at work, during an argument with a boyfriend or on the subway, and then deny that they were doing anything untoward. We also know how this makes us feel—vulnerable, intimidated and mad.

Girly Thoughts

What do you do with all of this anger? Unfortunately, you turn it against yourself by eating too much, drinking too much or exercising excessively, and with what I’ve named girly thoughts—how you do to yourself what society does to you, what the men in your life do to you: judge yourself and find yourself deficient, wanting, unattractive.

As a male supervisor I once worked for helped me understand, it is important in a conflict to use the other person’s momentum to your advantage. In this world of double standards for men and for women, we have Mr. Trump to thank for repeatedly giving us high-profile examples of how unfairly women are treated so that we can all take a look at this and say, “No more!”

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD is a psychologist, speaker, author and blogger.

Learn more about overcoming girly thoughts at The Powerful Woman: Women and Resilience, and in The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.



Miss Piggy? REALLY? Stop Weight Shaming Yourself with Your Girly Thoughts


“She gained a massive amount of weight … it was a real problem.”

—Donald Trump

Weight is a h-u-g-e issue for you—no pun intended. If you’re like most American women, you probably

  • go on an endless stream of diets.
  • try on a pile of clothes before you find something that looks okay enough to wear outside of the house.
  • say “I’m fat” whenever you look in the mirror.

Have you ever wondered why weight is such a hot-button issue for you?

In Monday night’s presidential debate, women’s weight took center stage when Hillary Clinton referenced former Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado. According to a report in the Washington Times, Donald Trump “had called her an ‘eating machine’ and ‘had her work out at a gym in front of reporters and camera crews after a post-pageant weight gain,’” while he looked on smirking—a look you probably know all too well.

Take a peek of her winning Miss Universe.  What do you think?

Ms. Machado was treated like a piece of meat, but do you need to do this to yourself?

The Impact of Being Treated Like an Object? You Learn to Do This to Yourself

Part of the answer is that women are treated like objects when

  • products are advertised with scantily clad models, to sell everything from cars to furniture.
  • trying to convince you to buy the latest fashion, even if the model’s image has been photoshopped, with inches taken off her waist and inches added to her height

This endless faultfinding with your weight sends a message to men, even obese men like Trump, that they have power. The disgrace here is that they have cultural permission to criticize you.

Girly Thoughts—Doing to Yourself what Society Does to You

What is the impact of this barrage of cultural messages about your weight? Girly thoughts! That’s the name I’ve developed to label this type of negative thinking. Your girly thoughts about your weight cause you to:

  • misdirect your energy, spending it worrying about your weight instead of strongly stating your professional opinion in that important meeting.
  • spend money needlessly buying clothes that fit perfectly for every few pounds your weight varies.
  • deplete your energy by saying mean things to yourself when you look in the mirror.

Society already makes you feel “less than,” so why do this to yourself? Why allow these girly thoughts to take up any space in your life?

Stop Weight-Shaming Yourself with Your Girly Thoughts

Whenever you catch yourself comparing your body to someone else’s—particularly someone you see in the media—try these tips instead.

  • Look in the mirror and admire your body, curves, dimples, flatness; this is YOU … the miracle that is you!
  • Say nice things to yourself as you look at your reflection.
  • Eat a healthy, not faddish, diet so you are taking care of yourself.
  • Show that you like yourself, even admire yourself, by your positive attitude, your confident posture, even by the swish of your hips as you exercise and move through your day.

Now say, “Yes, I can love myself and my body and stop my girly thoughts that say otherwise.”

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

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