There are so many points in female life when one has to override the natural modesty. You learn to override to use junior-high community showers. You learn to override at the gynecologist. And if you have really internalized the idea that modesty is shameful, you can learn to override your better instincts just about anywhere, or with anyone.
Got a feeling that you don’t want to be naked and exposed or intimate with someone but things have already progressed so far that it will be awkward to stop? Override.
Don’t want to lie to someone, but the truth will make them reject you? Override.
Don’t want to risk breaking the law, but everyone else is doing it and you don’t want to get them in trouble? Override.
In my generation, a lot of youthful overriding was required of a person like me. The trick is to shut down inner discomfort in order to appear like you’re cool, non-judgmental, or laid back. I learned that trick well.
It took a lot of soul searching, prayer and practicing saying “no” to get to a point where I can assert my level of comfort ability in almost any situation.
Early and ongoing abuse teaches us to shut down our emotions, boundaries and subtle or not so subtle feelings of discomfort.
But we can learn to stop overriding and start listening … to ourselves and our greater best interests.