I think women are harder on other women than we are on men.
I have been invited to “like” several FaceBook business pages this past year. When a man asks me to do so I feel flattered. When a woman asks me my first feeling is ‘Who do you think you are?’
I realize the irrationality of that. I love my dog; if I get another will I love my other dog less? Of course not! There is an infinite abundance of love. This also applies to supporting our sisters in the bonds of friendship.
Supporting another woman in her endeavors, giving her an ‘atta girl!’ is not a win/lose situation. It is kindness, compassion, love. If our sister is successful does that mean there is less success to go around? I think there is a solid argument that if she succeeds there is actually more success available. Especially when our sister then uses her success to help others.
This reminds me of a few quotes.
Native American Shawnee warrior and chief Tecumseh – quoted as saying:
A single twig breaks, but the bundle of twigs is strong.
English comedian, actor, writer and political activist Eddie Izzard – me paraphrasing:
How can the meek inherit the earth? I think they should all get together and pool their resources like, ‘What do we want?’ ‘THE EARTH!’ ‘When do we want it?’ ‘NOW, MOTHERLOVER!’ 😄
Let’s remember “success” is subjective.
I’ve heard women say ‘when I see how Jane [dresses, wears her hair, works, lives], I just want to go up to her and say ‘honey, you need to change [this and that] then you’d be successful’. I’m not innocent in this. I’ve thought the same and done it telling friends they should change! It can be insulting to be told ‘if you were more like me you’d be better’
What I define as success may differ from you. For me it may be money; for you, more free time. Just as I may prefer pink sparkly high tops; you may prefer black high heels.
We can encourage and support our friends to pursue their dreams without telling them they need to change. *When a friend asks us what we think (be it about what they’re wearing or a situation in their life, let’s reply ‘What I think isn’t important, it’s what you think; how do you feel about it?”
We can let our friend know what we would do and what we like, but to truly offer support we need to be respectful of her priorities and values. We should strive to encourage everyone “to thine own self be true” and to help each other live wholeheartedly.
*Exception being criminal acts, harm to others, harm to self – take your friend seriously and get them help!
All that said, it comes down to envy and greed.
Scarcity/abundance thinking not only applies to business but personal successes as well. Who hasn’t felt jealous at some time in their life when someone announces that they’re getting married, having a baby, buying a new car or house, going on a vacation, the list goes on.
It takes awareness and practice to feel jealousy then flip it and instead be genuinely happy for someone saying “Good things come to those who get off their ass and go for them!”
Some people do not believe in giving compliments.
The theory being if they give one it’s appreciated more. I call bullshit. The dictionary defines a compliment as:
- polite expression of praise or admiration
- an act or circumstance that implies praise or respect
- congratulations or praise expressed to someone
I do believe in giving compliments as much as possible because life is too short not to tell people how much you are appreciative of them, how much you like their contributions to the world, and to encourage them to keep going.
We can all use a little cheerleading from time to time. Let’s sincerely compliment each other more!
This rhetoric may sound like Pollyanna.
Life isn’t easy. Life isn’t fair. We all have our stories, our battles, our demons. Shit happens but let’s not push each other down into the mud of it.
The young women, all the women, in our lives need to see women courageously claiming their space and supporting each other (even if they have differing beliefs, religions, political parties, values). We can lift each other and rise together. We can just be there for each other.
So I say, “Congratulations!”
“Congratulations for your successes Women! I am sincerely happy for you and I’ll admit it, I’m a little jealous! You’re inspiring me to get off my ass and go balls to the wall after my dreams too. Thank you!”