Bitchiness. It’s everywhere.
You only have to walk into a room and a woman somewhere will be looking you up and down, judging your look from head to toe. When you start a new job, many female co-workers seem preoccupied with everything about you but what really matters—how well you get the job done.
Why? What is it that makes women have this naturally conflict instead of supporting each other and helping each other to be the best version of themselves?
Much of it, I’m afraid to say, boils down to one simple word: men. Yep, many women are, in fact, jealous of each other because of their own insecurities.
It starts young. Girls seek attention from their daddies, then, as they grow up, we start to crave a different type of attention from boys. We don’t consciously notice this transition of course; it just happens.
Much of the time, we don’t even know that we do crave that attention, but think about it: as a young, single girl, you have the world at your feet and there’s all to play for.
You go on a night out, get all glammed up and bring your A game. But, there’s that one girl on the dance floor who is slimmer than you, prettier than you or even just wearing a trendier dress than you.
You can’t help but watch her, as well as all the attention she’s getting. You end up going from feeling fantastic to feeling fed up.
Women vs. Women
Your twenties should be a time for fun and living a carefree existence, but instead it is full of these types of situations. When you’re young, self-confidence is often faked.
I know that I am a far different person now, in my thirties, than I was in my twenties. I had so much fun, living and working in London and enjoying the party lifestyle. I worked hard, and I played hard, regularly burning the candle at both ends and never thinking too much about the future.
However it was also a time of constant self-doubt, uncertainty and discovering who I am. Your twenties may be fun, but they are also hard. It’s even harder when women judge each other instead of embracing and supporting each other.
In my previous job, a new girl started and she was amazing. I mean she was beautiful, fun, hardworking, clever and had a figure to die for. You hate her right?
Every natural impulse in me was telling me to dislike her ‘perfection’; instead I befriended her and found out just how amazing she was.
Not only was she a fun, bubbly and easy-going girl, but she enhanced those traits in me. We had such fun, a small group of us, with nights out, girly nights in and spa days.
We were all married or in long-term relationships, and I think this is key. There was no rivalry when it came to men. On a night out, there was no jostling for attention, no desire to look the best and no judging each other’s choice of outfit.
We just came together, as women, and had fun. This is the best way to support each other because it allows us to be the best version of ourselves.
There are many ways to support each other, though. Here are just three ideas.
1. Don’t judge looks
Women come in different shapes and sizes, have different toned skin, and when it comes to hair…well, there’re products for that these days!
Some women are extremely girly, embracing the world of pink like there’s no tomorrow, while others are sporty and some brainy. Of course, many women don’t fit into neat pigeonholes, preferring instead to like what they like and go with the flow.
The one uniting factor? We are all women. We all face the same struggles, the same insecurities growing up and the same quest for happiness.
If we stop judging each other’s looks and comparing each other to the media’s portrayal of the ideal body, we can take away some of that pressure and an amazing thing will start to happen. We can feel better about ourselves and help each other to shine.
2. Stop competing for attention
If you spend the whole night out worrying about how good your friend looks, you only spoil your own night. Jealousy really is an unattractive trait.
Read any of the many articles out there about what men find attractive in a woman and you will see the word ‘confidence’ repeatedly.
This is because a woman who has the self-confidence to do her own thing and support her friends do the same is so much more laid-back and fun than a woman who spends her time competing with others and complaining about things that really don’t matter.
Instead of being jealous of the girl who has a fantastic figure, see her as inspiration and maybe join her at the gym. You think you’re competing with other women, but actually you are competing with yourself.
You have the power to be confident, and a good way to do this is just to relax and focus on your own great qualities. Once you have this self-confidence, you will be truly radiant.
3. Be yourself
Sounds simple, right? But, so often, women watch how other women behave, comparing themself to the woman who is happily married, the woman who has just been promoted or the woman who seems to be enjoying the single life far more than her. This leads to scorn and even social exclusion.
The happiest woman is the one who really embraces her independence and presses on, living life the way she wants to instead of how she thinks she should.
The only person who can help you to reach your full potential is you. So, stop worrying about what the attractive CEO of that company is doing and be yourself—only then can you be truly happy and attract the right kind of attention from both sexes.
The time in a woman’s life when she needs more support than ever is when she has children. Life changes and the challenges are neverending. Unfortunately, this is also the time when we feel most judged, and it is nearly always from, you guessed it, other women.
Other mums judge you for bottle-feeding, what you dress your kids in or whether or not you give them organic food. Then, they judge you for going back to work, or not going back to work, or for only having one child instead of the three they have.
Women who have not had children judge you for working part-time hours, watching to see just how much of a team-player you are, and waiting for the opportunity to gloat if you struggle to balance your job with raising a family.
Judgment and bitchiness come from all sides, and the only purpose it serves is to harm. It doesn’t make us any nicer or more attractive, and it certainly doesn’t lead to a happier, more independent and self-fulfilled life.
So, women, I implore you: go out there and love each other. Share common struggles, laugh at failed attempts to shine and bask in each other’s successes for we are all women, and don’t we all deserve to be the best we can be?