Never Give Up, Never Shut Up

A few weeks ago I was being interviewed for a radio show and the woman who was on before me was talking about her life as a female musician and she said that her motto or mantra was Never Give Up, Never Shut Up. I love that.  So many 40-something women wish they had been more outspoken when it came to asking for what they wanted . . . be that at work, in relationships, in bed or even with friends and family.  You have a voice. Never be afraid to use it. Think that speaks for itself!


But here are a few thoughts on what 40-somethings have to say….

At work….

Sometimes women assume that you will be noticed if you do the right things but that is not always the case.  You have to speak up for yourself. I work with groups of younger women who are intimidated. You want to be liked so you don’t want to tout your own accomplishments and then you get overlooked. Meanwhile the guy who sits next to you is like hey boss, I did this over the weekend. And people are like, ‘Wow, he’s really a hard working. He’s great.’ But if you really look at the work, the women’s work was probably a little better. But women are more team players and the men are all ‘about me’ and it pays off.” — 40-something, investment banker

I saw an interview last week with Lois Frankel and Carol Frohlinger, authors of the new book Nice Girls Just Don’t Get It: 99 Ways to Win the Respect You Deserve, the Success You’ve Earned, and the Life You Want. The book addresses this issue of not asking for what you want.  I thought they had a great, simple idea. Keep a brag book so when it comes time to ask for a promotion or a raise or just to tout your own horn, you have a record of your accomplishments.

On the counterpoint. I loved this post by an outspoken 20-something who does have a voice and isn’t afraid to use it.  On reaction to several articles about women not stepping up to the table in the tech industry

“Instead of being meek, I chose to be outspoken. Instead of worrying about carrying the cross that is being a girl, I chose to focus on being successful. I know that I’m still young, but I think I’ve had a fairly blessed career so far, one that has been filled with great opportunities, great people and great work.”

Read more:

In relationships….

“I think many women and men too are unhappy because they’re constantly disappointed when their expectations aren’t met. I think if you can talk openly about what your partner needs and wants and you’re willing to do it…it makes for a lot more peace and happiness and just overall enjoyment. – 40-something, happily married 20 years

On sex….

I remember trying to prove that I was super sexy and knew everything and was just super confident.  I was trying to prove to everybody else how great I was. Why didn’t I just enjoy it, figure it all out? Why did I have to prove to bunch of idiots how great I was?  I should have been doing what made me happy and asking for what I wanted. That’s so important too. I don’t think I would’ve ever asked. I didn’t ask for things. As much as confident as I pretended to be, it was like “Sure! It’s just great!  Now I know nothing’s better than having confidence there in that area.  I had all these revelations from 30 to where I am now at 44. Now I’m going to talk constantly in bed. First of all because I’m going to ask for everything I want. I’m going to laugh and do whatever I want. I’ll have no fear and no shame because who cares?” — 40-something, divorced

On family….

“Family is important but you still have to live your life. You have to learn how to say no. I lived close to my family and there were things they just assumed we would do and I did them. Even if they interfered with my own life. I would take care of their responsibilities before my own. At some point you have to speak for yourself. You have to learn how to say no to your family.” — 45, wife, mom, grandmother




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