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Is "bad-ass" a compliment?

June 14, 2018

Dear Someone Else’s Dad,

I’m a fellow dad with a daughter who joined the corporate world last year. I’ve always admired the way she’s handled herself in difficult types of situations (sorry, dad pride here), with determination and grace.  Recently though, she told me that she thinks of herself as a “bad-ass” at work so that people listen to her and treat her appropriately.  I was a bit surprised because I don’t know why she has to turn herself into something she’s not.  Maybe she’ll listen to someone else’s dad?




Another Dad


Dear Another Dad,

We dads see our daughters through a unique lens (fellow dad pride here).  We hate the idea that they’ll be perceived as a “bad-ass” because that changes an image of them that we’ve created.  Also “bad-ass” is just a phrase; don't read that much into it. 


We all want our children to be authentic, direct, well-respected, and polite. Since I imagine you raised her with those values, remember that she’s just navigating the world of work with a foundation of knowing what’s right and wrong. If she thinks that “bad-ass” means standing up for what’s right then you can be even more dad proud.


Good luck,
Someone Else’s Dad

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