Ladies, I’m afraid we have a bad rap.
Between reality TV shows where we see grown women bashing each other with a smile and terrible comments on social media posts and blogs, we have the reputation of being not so nice. This is not okay and should definitely not be the norm. After years of being a part of varying kinds of female relationships, I’ve asked myself the same question over and over again: Why can’t we just support each other?
Despite our best intentions, as women our instinct is often to compare ourselves with the other women around us — their dress, their career, their hobbies, their marital status, kids or no kids or how they discipline their kids — which results in envy, competition and worst of all, judgmental thinking.
This should not be so.
Why is it that we feel so threatened by the way another woman dresses, speaks or acts that we feel like it’s our job to play polite police? Why is it that it so often seems easier for us to say what we think is wrong rather than comment all the wonderful things that are right?
For starters, we need to change the way we treat each other, because as women, we should be each other’s greatest allies, not each other’s greatest competition. We should support one another at work, at home, in our circle of friends, at church, wherever. Let’s be real: none of us are perfect, so why judge? One woman’s success is inspiration for us all and makes us all look good, so let’s lift other women up.
We also have to change the way we speak to each other. We need to stop saying things without first thinking about how we’ll make other ladies feel, including: “Well I could never do that,” or “How are you even managing that?” or “You look exhausted!” This kind of rhetoric is negative. It perpetuates the idea that there is only one right way of doing things and every other way is wrong, and it pits women against each other.
Let’s transform our interactions into something we actually want to be a part of, interactions that are uplifting and leave both parties feeling more confident. We should be telling each other things like, “You are beaming!” or “I’m proud of you,” or “Great job with [insert project here],” or maybe “Motherhood looks good on you.”
Maybe you don’t click with her or maybe she’s your colleague who just knocked a project out of the park. She might be the friend who looks so put together all.the.time or maybe she’s the mom in line at Target with a screaming toddler who could use an extra hand —show her some kindness. Offer to help her with literally anything. Give her a genuine compliment and make her whole day. Speak truth into her life by praying with her and for her.
Ladies, let’s be kind to each other.
Let’s raise daughters who are kind to each other.
Kindness is contagious, so let’s make it our goal to be kind to women everywhere.
When women encourage, and genuinely support each other, incredible things happen.