Last Saturday morning was a hot mess. I found myself arguing with a woman. I was going back and forth with her when she struck a nerve and called me an ignorant bitch. “Did she just call me an ignorant bitch,” I asked myself in disbelief. All bets were off at that point. Normally, I don’t argue with people. I keep my composure and brush things off, but this woman was totally out of pocket and I went there on her. I was already on edge because I was running late to an affair I had to get to that morning. I came from behind my counter and escorted her out of my office just as she threatened to beat me up. That was it—now she was threatening me. I told her to come on with it. I was ready to give her a serious beatdown in the middle of the street. I was that angry. As she kept fussing down the street, I yelled, “Shut up! You CRACK WHOREEEEEEEE!!!!!”

Time seemed to stand still for that one moment in time. My words seemed to echo down Ridge Avenue rattling the birds perched on the telephone wires causing them to fly away and startling little old ladies walking down the street. All eyes were on me. The woman I was arguing with just stood there with wide eyes as though she couldn’t believe what I just called her.

Once my anger subsided, I apologized to those who heard me and repented to God. I couldn’t believe I let this woman bring me out of my element like that. As I sat there thinking about how badly I handled the situation, a wise saying came to mind and haunted me. “Don’t argue with a fool because people passing by won’t know who’s the fool.” This woman clearly disrespected and violated me first, but I stooped to her level. All of my class and dignity went out the window.

All day long, I thought about my actions and kept asking God to forgive me. I felt that bad. I really wished I could’ve handled things better. The next morning, I was watching a Sunday morning political call-in show and a congressman from Maryland said something that struck me. I felt as if God was speaking to me through this gentleman. In response to a caller who referred to the congressman as a Negro instead of African-American, the congressman said, “It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to.”

I thought about that statement for a while and applied it to my own situation. It was true. It shouldn’t have mattered what that woman called me because none of what she said was true. I’m not a female dog and I’m not ignorant. I just shook my head and hung it in disappointment. I couldn’t believe I let myself act a fool like that.

But like everything else, I learn from it and share the lesson. From this experience I learned that it’s not important what people call or say about you. What’s important is what you answer to and believe about yourself. I often hear people call women the “b” word and hear them reply, “But I’m a good one.” The truth of the matter is you’re not the “b” word, not even on your worst day. Maybe people don’t call you four letter words, they talk down to you instead. They call you dumb, stupid, or lazy. In this case, the same rules apply. It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to and believe about yourself.

I recently met a woman who told me that her mother made her feel dumb for many years. Her mother didn’t call her dumb. Instead she always referred to her as her pretty daughter and her sister as her smart daughter—as if a woman can’t be both pretty and smart. Beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive. A woman can be both pretty and intelligent. However, the pretty daughter thought she was dumb and the smart one thought she was ugly. For years, both sisters struggled to the point that the pretty sister didn’t think she was smart enough to go college and the smart sister didn’t think she was attractive. She suffered from low self esteem. This case is an example of how we can limit ourselves based upon what people think of us. I am happy to say that today both sisters have defined their own identities and both of them feel smart and pretty. The “pretty” sister eventually got her degree and became a nurse. The “smart” sister has a healthy self image and beams with confidence.

Don’t let the names or things people say about you define you. It’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to and believe about yourself that matters.

Be blessed!


P.S.- Remember everything has beauty including YOU. IT just takes a true D.I.V.A to see it!

Be blessed!

© 2010, Shalena D.I.V.A. – Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.


  1. Shay Olivarria on August 1, 2010 at 11:07 pm

    I’m sad you had a bad experience with this person. You are entirely correct, it’s important that you don’t let folks bring you down to their level, however once someone threatens my person …. Houston, we have a problem. LOL

    Shay Olivarria
    Author, 10 Things College Students Need to Know About Money

    • ShalenaD.I.V.A on August 1, 2010 at 11:25 pm

      Shay, why are you so crazy? LOL! I so wanted to punch that woman in the face, but it would’ve been a really bad scene and I would’ve been the one hauled off to jail more than likely. I try not to let people take me there because I get very angry and explode so I avoid confrontations, but she got me good.

      Wasn’t it crazy how the mother I referred to damaged her children’s self esteem like that? The daughters say the mother doesn’t think she did anything wrong though. Words are powerful.

  2. Friendly Christian on September 3, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    Look Ms.S. Diva, if I was on Ridge Ave at the time it would have been on and popin. I know who you are and let me just say this, we who are so intellectual can sometime be caught off guard due to the fact that we know the true meaning of words. No doubt that silly sister didn’t even mean to call you ignorant or a female dog. She intended to really insult you but it back fired. Check this out God made every thing and everything He made is good. Well they say a dog is a man’s best friend-just follow me- OK. Now we only know in part and we prophecy in part but when He comes the fullness of the truth will be revealed. There is another scripture that says , and it’s in Proverbs, “agree with your advosary quickly”. So what was she really saying. For the lack of her own limitations she was expression how much she envies you and envy insideout is admiration unspoken. That’s just a nugget for you and your readers. But on a real serious note I’m glad I wasn’t in the area because the wrong part of my reflexes may have been activated and your would have witnessed a side of me that you never knew. You could have saved your breath because I would have had your back in that attack.
    Thank you for your integrity and honesty. A broken heart and a contrite spirit God will never turn away.
    Friendly Christian

  3. yea someone called me a B but after would i lol cuz i could be that some days.

  4. DivaMarie Hollenbach via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

    My Mister’s ex wife calls me ‘The Trophy Wife”. Not a problem for me….he is a good man, and if God decided he needed a trophy, who am I to disagree?? #stophating

  5. Tranquility Within via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 9:45 am

    I have been called Angelica from off the rugrats…b/c I am so sweet & loving but soon as I get crossed my other side tends to take over as they say…so when I am pissed they say who are you now Angelica or Angel!

  6. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 9:46 am

    @Diva—That’s a good one!

  7. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 9:48 am

    @Tranquility—We call one of my good friends that, too for the same reasons! She also has a squeaky voice like Angelica, too! LOL! She’s a mess when she’s Angelica!

  8. Gene Steele via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Ok, take it easy….. I see where this is headed!!! LOL!!!

  9. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 9:54 am

    @Gene, I’m sure you’ve been called some funny names. This is light and fun… I promise. Like one time someone called my friend “Mr. Snuffaluffagus” (sp) and I hollered because he did have a big nose… LOL! But that took some creativity on that person’s part to think of that…

  10. Gene Steele via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:02 am

    Lol. Iv e been called “Ghoul”. That was funny considering.

  11. Patricia Holbert via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

    let me think….i havent been called the B word in quite a long time…its been since 1994 that my 83 year old grandmother called me Hefa…..at least ten years before that..that my husband called me dizzy B…ummmmm…let me think…no i cant say i remember anyone calling me out of my name….sorry! Not to my face…anyway

  12. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:04 am

    @Gene, considering that you work with dead people, they may not be too far of a stretch, but wait— who called you that?

  13. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:05 am

    @Patricia—I don’t think anyone is going to call you out of your name any time soon, especially with your machete!!! LOL!

  14. Christian Jimmy via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:15 am

    hi diva, hope u are having fun. dnt crack ur ripe.lol

  15. Chidinma Azu Evans via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:22 am

    years back wen i was in high sch, my friends wil cal me ‘slow poison’ but’ll only smile. one day one of them aproached me n enquired, r u a cultist?’ i said yes n u r my next victim, he beged.

  16. Patricia Holbert via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:23 am


  17. Diane Hendricks via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Alright SHAY are you ready? I use to work on the phy. Floor in the hospital as a nurse. And I was never afraid of them when others were so they Nick name me Buffey. The vampire slayer LOL!!!!!

  18. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:43 am

    @Diane—Buffy—I can see that—LOL! You don’t take any mess!

  19. Christine McCracken Payne via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I had a step sister call me out a “hooker” (sisterly love) actually im not close with her @ all.. She is actually blocked on my phones and fb cuz i would really like nothing more than to give her the tightest hug i could possibly give someone to the point of not breathing… but as it turns out.. She was the one working the streets and she is under investigation for prostitution..( what a Dirty hooker she is)

  20. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

    @Christine—People usually accuse you of what they are guilty of. I hope she’s able to turn her life around. Remember, it’s not what people call you, but what you answer to. You didn’t answer to being a hooker because you’re not one. I’m glad you didn’t let her bring you down.

  21. Diane Hendricks via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 10:51 am

    Hey Shay I am not saying I wasn’t afraid in side I just didn’t let them see me sweat. These patients. Were coo coo for cok cok Pops! LOL.

  22. Marian de Vries via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 11:21 am

    the called me SMURF at school because i was the little one i didnt mind at all

  23. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 11:28 am

    @Marian—Smurfs are cute and so are you!

  24. Marian de Vries via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 12:09 pm


  25. Miguel Vedanaigam via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    http://youtu.be/y_GGDom3Ki4 Mother’s day song to all the Mommy’s! i sang this in Church last Sunday..hope you like it!

  26. www.shalenadiva.com via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    Hey, Miguel! I thought of you this morning. I’ll promote the video. Be blessed sweetheart!

  27. Miguel Vedanaigam via Facebook on May 4, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    wow! really? thank you for thinking of me=)

Leave a Comment