Have you ever noticed that when two women are face to face with each other for the first time that there is always a slight awkwardness that occurs? Sometimes this may not be very obvious to others around you, but you can feel it within yourself. There’s no denying the stereotypes that women have, even more so with how they interact with each other. The term ‘catty’ is used far to often and not only from women, but from men as well. Women seem to be in more competition with each other, even more so than men with men. But even knowing this, the true nature of being a female is actually far less competitive than that of a male… So why do we feel on our toes around each other?
Evolving as the ‘weaker sex’, historically we have had to be more manipulative in our efforts to achieve success. As women, we sadly fail a lot of the times to face our feelings directly. And by doing so, we strengthen the false notion of gender norms. As a defense mechanism, we make snide comments of envy at times; mostly because we are comparing ourselves to this other person. This is what we call our ‘critical inner voice’, and this occurs mostly when feelings are stirred up inside us and make us feel as though we are not good enough. More times than not, instead of standing up to this ‘inner critic’ and confronting these thoughts, we endure them as our own point of view, in which case we end up convincing ourselves that this is okay to happen.
By constantly listening to your ‘inner critic’, you will not only find yourself more angry and critical of those around you, but you will dive deeper into a hole of self-consciousness. By constantly comparing yourself to others, you are single handedly destroying your uniqueness. We were all born different for a reason, each of us with our own beauty we don’t need to strive for anyone else’s.
A fundamental tenet of the women’s’ rights is to support other women. But in todays world, it becomes a little more difficult when there is gossip involved. Women talk… a lot. It’s part of who we are, but in most cases, it’s just bitching about other women, whether it’s a co-worker, a fellow mom from school, or even a so-called ‘friend’. Many friendships now-a-days occur from a common hatred towards one another, or ‘best-friends’ turn into rivals. Can we really call this a friendship? Or is there a deeper reason for this friendship to occur? We need to see through this stigma and empower each other rather than tear each other down.
So how do we deal with these catty women, and begin to empower one another?
- Don’t follow, lead…
It’s very easy to respond to a negative comment with a negative reply. However, as cliché as this sounds, remember the golden rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated. Yes, in some cases this is easier said than done; but by allowing the cattiness to come out, you are allowing the cycle to continue.
Instead, be the role model. Show your confidence so they can see that it is easier than they think to be strong and powerful. When someone says a negative comment, simply reply with a positive one. Not only will this be a bit shocking for the other person, but they will gain a bit more respect for you as well.
- Language is key!
Language plays a very important role in societies views on women, and we as women are in control of this. Words like slut and bitch have become everyday terms. Why? Because girls use these words to describe each other, and then get confused when others use them towards themselves. The more conscious we are with what we say individually, the more conscious society as a whole will be.
- Compliment each other
We’re all in this together. It takes way more energy to generate hatred and to find a flaw in someone than it does to just accept her. All women struggle with confidence to a certain degree, and honestly its no wonder why. By complimenting each other and raising each other up, we are able to help one another reach our fullest potential. It doesn’t have to be a huge compliment by any means, but something as little as “You look nice today” will make a world of difference, both for you and for her as well.
- Speak Up!
While the line between calling someone out and becoming part of the drama is slim, if you see a women being mistreated SAY SOMETHING! By doing so, you are standing up for women as a whole. Women have always been taught to stay silent rather than to confront a situation; so by speaking out, you are not only showing great power for yourself, but you’re taking a step into the positive direction for all females.
- Start them young
Children are sponges to the world around them. They absorb everything they hear or see, it’s part of the growing and learning process. Today, we live in a male-dominated world. In which case, women tend to feel the need to show their dominance over one another, and to prove that they are superior to others around them. By talking to your daughters at a young age, this can be avoided. Remind them daily that they are able to do anything that they put their minds to, and encourage them to do so. With this mind-set, can you imagine what the next generation of women would be like?
Next time you meet a woman, instead of giving her the look up and down followed by a look of disgust, try glancing at her with a smile. Remember, we as women are already strong; our job now is to change the way the world perceives that strength.