Katherine Heigl Says It's Important to Teach Her Children to Say No

And that people-pleasing is nobody's job.

Katherine Heigl

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It's been a long time since Katherine Heigl addressed rumors that she was "difficult" to work with, and in a new interview, she's highlighting the difference between standing up for her beliefs and needs and being percieved as hard-headed. Speaking to NewBeauty, the actress explained that she's very cognizant of teaching her children when to say no and take time and space for themselves, regardless of what it may or may not do to their reputations.

Heigl mentioned that it took "a couple of cycles to figure out how to stand up for myself without it coming from a place of defensiveness or aggressiveness." Not only did she say that it's taken time, she noted that it's an ongoing process — and it's something she wants her children to see.

"I'm still working on that. I'm trying to work on coming from a place of peace and calm and confidence — as opposed to a place of being pissed off or angry," she added. "It's important to say, 'This is my boundary.' It's necessary, and it's what I keep trying to teach my daughters."

Heigl has two daughters, Adalaide, 10, and Naleigh, 14. She also shares a 6-year-old son, Joshua, with her husband, Josh Kelley.

"I don't want to make it a gender issue, but I do think there is this under-the-radar, unsaid, collectively understood vibe that women are meant to be 'pleasing,'" Heigl said, explaining that she's not quite sure why, but perceptions of being agreeable and stubborn are different when it comes to her daughters and her son. "I see it in my young daughters, and it's just this odd, inherent social thing. I'm certainly not teaching them to be like that, but they're picking it up somewhere — there's a definite message of 'please everyone, except yourself.'"

She added that she wants to ensure that her daughters don't feel like pleasing everyone is something that they have to strive for.

"I worry about it a lot when I look at my oldest daughter. I keep saying, 'I need you to understand that that is not your job.' And I don't know if she'll fully understand it until she's in her 40s and has garnered some experience of wisdom, but I want to keep hammering it home," Heigl noted. "It's not your job to make everybody else feel comfortable, happy, safe, liked, or adored. It is your job to make sure you know who you are, you know what your boundaries are."

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