Every woman desires and deserves to be loved. That love that we desire and deserve is easily found if we understand and appreciate who we are right now. A woman who loves herself finds it easy to show love, respect and appreciation towards another woman. More often than not, women behave as if they are on opposite teams, when in fact they are fighting the same battles.
Here are seven things women need to stop doing to each other:
1. Holding back compliments
Women are quick to notice each other but too often find it difficult to compliment each other, especially when it's a trait we may admire about another woman. We behave as if we are taking away from ourselves when we gift a compliment to another woman. Noticing another lady with a beautiful smile does not mean yours is ugly, nor does her wearing a nice outfit, mean that you look like you are wearing a paper bag. Her success, her beauty, her happiness does not take away from yours. In fact, you should present her with the compliment. She would love it.
2. Shaming each other to make ourselves feel better
Beauty comes in all sizes and shapes. Once I attended an intimate event and another lady vocalized that my chest was unattractively large and questioned how my husband could be attracted to such a large bust. I rebutted in my mind, "Well he certainly doesn't like your peanuts." We were both wrong!
As women we instantly demonstrate our insecurities when we shame another woman. "It's a shame she's..." Actually no, it's not a shame because she's fearfully and wonderfully made. She is imperfectly perfect as are you.
3. Accusatory rather than supportive
The Bible verse James 1:19 exhorts us to be slow to speak and anger, quick to listen. Women are adept to talking things through with the intention of resolving the issue at hand. The downside to this is that we expect to receive full information right then and there. We need to give each other enough space and time to tell the entire story and not accuse each other of lying when we don't get everything right away. Sometimes she is not sure of her feelings, despite being your "best friend." Give her space to gather herself. She might need to speak with God first to gain comfort.
In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg says "done is better than perfect." A woman is destined to wear several hats: wife, mother, sister, best friend, career woman, neighbor, you name it. Juggling several roles is quite difficult for anyone and women automatically put themselves last. We may even neglect an area until it is screaming for our attention. Let's face it- life happens and some role may become dominant in a season of our lives. The last thing we need is another woman to be critical on why something disastrous happened in our lives or trying to validate how neglectful we were in that area.
The best thing you can do for her is to provide genuine support - teaching her how to make a pot roast when she's not a strong cook, or bringing her a bag of groceries because you know she just had a baby. I couldn't agree more with Sheryl.
Everyone loves a good story, but at the expense of another person's character? Not fair. The times that I participated in this activity, I have found the details of the story have changed significantly. This caused me wonder if the messenger is envious of something of that other person to the point they are willing to defame the other person's character. If another woman has trusted you with their life, show her the respect she deserves by not repeating it. No one wants their marital, financial, parenting issues or insecurities told to another.
Madeleine Albright stated, "I love being a woman and I was not one of those women who rose through professional life wearing men's clothes or looking masculine. I loved wearing bright colors and being who I am."
We might be placed in tough situations where we are forced to act unnatural. At times we choose to "be fake" in an attempt to show support and love despite our pain. It is always better to be honest. Being honest with each other doesn't mean you have to be rude. You can be nice to people without having to be their friends. Not everyone belongs in your circle.
Juliana is the CEO and founder of Forty-Eight 10. Together with her husband, they have four wonderful children and founded Leading and Love. She pursues her dreams in and outside of the home everyday and empowers many women to do the same