What Do You Have to Prove?

Few things get the blood pumping like a good debate with someone close to you. Who was the greatest rapper of all time? Should black women align themselves with the feminist movement? Which city has the best pizza, New York or Chicago? Those harmless “arguments” can be a lot of fun and you and your opposition can get to know something about each other in the process.

However, the real arguments, the ones we call “fights,” because they feel like verbal brawls, are a different story. You start off calmly debating a topicand you end up calling each other names and cussing each other out. You don’t speak for days or weeks. Eventually, you make up or come back together and pretend the fight never happened. By that time, lasting damage has been done to the relationship and you’ve wasted a lot of time and energy being angry.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to diffuse, cut off, or prevent those kinds of arguments in the first place—if you’re willing to take a hard look at yourself and change one simple thing—because at the core of many of these conflicts is a deep need to prove you’re good enough.

You want the other person to yield to your will so you can win. You want him to validate you and recognize how competent you are. You want her to agree with you and acknowledge how smart you are. At the bottom of it all, you want someone else to proclaim your worth because you don’t yet know it for yourself.

But something magical happens when you know your own worth as an unshakeable truth. When you’re secure in the fact that you are good enough right now, just as you are, you begin to realize that you have nothing to prove. It doesn’t matter if your boyfriend or your husband, your father or your best friend believe you’re smart enough, talented enough, or capable enough, or not. You no longer need validation from anyone outside of yourself.

If you’ve expressed your opinion and the other person disagrees, you can be okay with that. When you believe, with deep conviction, that you are worthy, you can walk away from an argument before it starts. In some cases, you may have to find a way to reach a compromise. In other cases, you may have to make your own decision and let other folks be unhappy with it. However, in most instances, you’ll find that differences of opinion, perspective, or taste really doesn’t affect the way you live your life.

For most women, really knowing your worth takes time and effort, especially if you’ve ever been judged “less than” for your looks, your behavior, your background, or anything else. But none of that judgment changes the fact that you were worthy then and you are worthy now. Not after you lose weight, not after you earn another degree, not after you get the ring or land a promotion. You have no reason to argue or fight. You have nothing to prove. You are enough.

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