First, let me start off by saying happy new year everyone!!! I’m so excited for what’s to come from this year. So, in my typical late fashion, I recently finished the hit new series, “She’s Gotta Have It.” This is not a review of the show but may have some spoilers so read at your discretion. After watching the show, I thought I would dialogue about themes in it with some of my male friends. One conversation struck me. We were discussing the final episode of the season and the men in the main character, Nola Darling’s life. He reacted how I expected most men to about the episode. He called them “whack,” which initially made me chuckle. When I probed more to get understanding as to why he categorized them as such, one of his explanations was, they were doing too much considering Nola didn’t want more and to “KNOW YOUR ROLE.”
“Know your role,” a phrase that I’ve heard many times in my life, but never stung quite like this. I realized through this exchange this is a problem in dating today. Too many men and women are expected to know their role when the truth is, they’re in roles they don’t want and shouldn’t be in. Too often people sign up to be in situations with people when they know they want more. Then they are considered “whack” for a lack of a better term, when they start to step outside of that role.
For me, the issue is not that people need to know their role, it’s that people need to stop accepting lower roles than what they want. Too many people keep opting to stay in entry level positions when they should be and want to be in management. They know they are management material, but they are so loyal to the company, they take the position and stay. Stop holding onto companies that know you want to move up the ranks and deserve to, but keep you at the lower levels. There are many reasons a company may not promote you, but the key is, you’re not getting promoted. Then you’re considered annoying when you start trying to show up to management meetings and do management work. You are then hit with the phrase, “know your role.”
Let’s be clear, people must be willing to listen when people tell them they aren’t hiring for management. In other words, if they say they don’t want more and that all you will be is fun for them, LISTEN!!! Because if you don’t, you’ll find yourself operating outside of your role and in the role you really wish to have. That’s how you start volunteering for hurt like I talked about in a previous post HERE. Now are there men and women out there who are willing to just be fun for someone and nothing more, absolutely. If there is one ounce of you though that knows you want something more, do not lie or try to convince yourself that anything less will suffice.
To me, those men in Nola’s life aren’t whack, lame, stupid, or anything else I’m sure they’ll be called. They simply are doing too much for someone who is not willing to do the same for them. They allowed their love for her to overshadow their rational thinking, like many people do. They were too busy loving they stopped listening. Had they listened to what her words and actions were saying, they would have been walked away. Maybe we should stop shaming people for it and start encouraging people to wake up and go get the role they want.
So, my advice to you is, don’t know your role, know your worth. Stop playing roles in people’s lives you know you don’t want to play. There are people out there who are willing to give you the role you want. You don’t have to stick around for people, hoping one day your role will change. Don’t get stuck with the Nola Darling’s in life, who need you to simply, “know your role.” Know what role you want and don’t stop until you find the person who wants to give it to you.