I was chatting with a friend the other day, and she shared an experience with me that I just have not been able to get out of my head.
She was at work when a co-worker told her that she looked really nice. In response to what she perceived to be a compliment, my friend said, “thank you! I feel really good today.” I could imagine my friend with a big grin on her face striking a pose as she received this positive interaction. Maybe even throwing in a giggly twirl. Unfortunately, this interaction did not end on a positive note because there was something about the way my friend received this compliment that led to the co-worker quickly following up with, “oh, you are feeling yourself today!”
There seems to be this movement “on paper” toward uplifting one another and recognizing our greatness as women. Everywhere we turn, we see posts and reminders about self-love, realizing your worth, being the “baddest bitch” on the block, “getting your shine on” (my personal favorite :-)). We are encouraged not to allow anyone to dull our sparkle, hold our head high, be great! When we don’t project all of the positivity the world says we need to project, there is a whole series of writings about why we have low self-esteem, lack self-love, etc.
In order for the movement to be effective, we need to give equal attention to the assailant that feels it is her right to actively try to hurt another woman’s feelings and cast it off as “telling it like it is”. Until then, this movement is “not worth the paper it is written on”.
I am not sure if it is competitiveness, low self-esteem, jealousy, or just plain old meanness, that makes us proud when we actively attempt to take a woman’s right to “shine” away? Notice, I said we. I, too, have been a “hater”. And, there are periods in my life when I still experience pangs of jealousy when I look at another woman and create this perception of how much better her life is than mine. I am an imperfect or, shall I say, fallible human. But, I have realized that these periods of insecurity have absolutely nothing to do with the woman I am “hating” on and everything to do with how I feel about myself. Acceptance of this reality has helped me significantly shift my focus in the right direction—self-love, self-improvement, self-worth. And, let me tell you, this shift has done wonders for my sense of peace and happiness.
Let’s all work to get rid of that “telling her like it is” mentality and truly give women the freedom to shine and “feel themselves”. After all, what is wrong with that?
If you find yourself wanting to put another woman “in her place” or “bring her back down to earth”, stop and repeat this mantra to yourself 5 times:
Focus on you! I guarantee life will be better.