So what does it mean to be submissive? Here are some definitions (not talking about that kink stuff):
1) Adj. submissive - inclined or willing to submit to orders or wishes of others or showing such inclination; "submissive servants"; "a submissive reply"; "replacing troublemakers with more submissive people"
unassertive - inclined to timidity or lack of self-confidence; "a shy unassertive person"
obedient - dutifully complying with the commands or instructions of those in authority; "an obedient soldier"; "obedient children"; "a little man obedient to his wife"; "the obedient colonies...are heavily taxed; the refractory remain unburdened"- Edmund Burke
humble - marked by meekness or modesty; not arrogant or prideful; "a humble apology"; "essentially humble...and self-effacing, he achieved the highest formal honors and distinctions"- B.K.Malinowski (source)
2) adjective: meek, passive, obedient, compliant, patient, resigned, yielding, accommodating, humble, subdued, lowly, abject, amenable, docile, dutiful, ingratiating, malleable, deferential, pliant, obsequious, uncomplaining, tractable, acquiescent, biddable, unresisting, bootlicking (informal), obeisant. Most doctors want their patients to be submissive.
antonym: difficult, awkward, stubborn, intractable, unyielding, obstinate, headstrong, uncooperative, disobedient (source).
3) Definition: allowing others to have control over you; 2. willing to submit to the wishes of others
Synonyms: compliant, acquiescent, docile, meek, obedient, passive, servile
Antonyms: domineering, controlling, oppressive
The submissive woman let her overbearing husband control her. (docile, meek, passive). The submissive servant did exactly what he was told. (obedient, compliant). Because she had a submissive personality, she always went along with what others wanted to do. (passive, docile, compliant). I don't like her submissive manner, and I sometimes wish she would just stand up for herself. (meek, servile, acquiescent) (source)
I've always been like this but I've still managed to become successful and stay out of trouble. Being submissive is a feminine trait but not something I had to learn and I don't love it. It's just something some people are while others are more dominant. In some areas people can be dominant (e.g., at work) but very submissive in romantic relationships. It's weird that way. I knew I was passive and not very defensive when given constructive feedback from those with more experience/training, but being submissive kind of explains a lot of things. Whenever I'm angry at someone it often gets turned inwards as self-criticism or self-doubt (good grief...just like in this post) or I do something passive-aggressive (e.g., like writing this post). I know how to be assertive but I just didn't remember it when I needed it. I am angry now but I can't turn back time.
This is strong language but I HATE people who keep pressuring you and wear you down for their own selfish needs. They will convince you that you are crazy, deficient, insecure, a prude, or otherwise flawed for not doing what they want or for not agreeing with them (I have learned this is called gaslighting; Article1 really good read, Article 2). I think this is why I want a prestigious and successful man because then I would be able to trust his decision making more. I wouldn't have to worry that my submissive/passive nature will lead to our downfall because he had poor character and a history of poor decisions. To prevent this from happening I am careful choosing men and my standards are high because this is the only way I can influence who has power over me. I don't want to be led astray or hurt by the wrong person. I know a prestigious man can still hurt me, but at least I could look back and know I chose someone who didn't have glaring red flags. Maybe that's why I don't like men who are too masculine and dominant because I couldn't stand up for myself with them in the past.
I have to work on being more assertive and less submissive. This will actually be going against my nature and trying to be something I'm not but this is what's encouraged by most people. It's easier sometimes to let people control you, but if they make you do things you don't want you feel horrible after. There is such a thing as being too submissive/passive. I wrote about this before in my post about Assertiveness Training for Black Women...I need to read that again.