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Soapbox - Bill of Rights For Former Nice Girls


by Catie Hayes of

In keeping with the start of a new year, I thought it only fitting to set out some ground rules. In the spirit of The Who's 'We Won't Get Fooled Again', it's time for Former Nice Girls to build a year and a life that honors who we are, without explanation or apology. Feel free to print this out and refer to it whenever the need arises. Soon enough it will be committed to memory and its practice will be a breeze.

1.. We have the right to say 'no'.
This applies to appointments we don't have time for, family obligations we'd rather not meet, behavior that is unacceptable or anything that degrades us, manipulates us or dishonors our hearts.

2.. We have the right to speak honestly.
If we don't agree, we will say so. Our opinions and observations matter.

3.. We have the right to choose only healthy relationships.
We have the right to live free of other people's baggage, addictions, dependencies, preconceived notions, and manipulations. We recognize relationships involving an equal give and take as well as mutual respect are the right of every human being.

4.. We have the right to make choices that honor us, rather than please someone else.
We recognize people-pleasing saps our energy and talents, and does not honor our hearts. We choose to live according to our own standards and morals and not to satiate the expectations of others.

5.. We have the right to be responsible for our own behavior and

When we make mistakes, and we will, it is no one's job but ours to learn from them and go on. By the same token, if others make mistakes, we are not responsible for cleaning up after them or fixing the situation.

6.. We have the right to be happy.
Our lives are a gift, not to be frittered away playing the martyr, the victim, the scapegoat or anything less than who we truly are.

7.. We have the right to be angry.
Our anger does not need to be justified or explained to anyone. It's okay to be infuriated, it's okay to seek change, and it's okay not to pretend we aren't angry when we want to scream.

8.. We have the right to want something better for ourselves.
We have this right, not because someone owes us, but we owe it to ourselves to make the life we desire.



copyright 2004

Catie Hayes is founder/editor of; a community of support, spirituality, growth and empowerment for women. She is a freelance writer, the single homeschooling mom of two, and an avid fan of laughter, spontaneous dancing, cats and chocolate (not necessarily in that order). She used to be nice, but now she runs somewhere between bilious and content.

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