It’s no secret that I’m a huge proponent for women supporting other women. I’ve made a point to talk about the importance of building each other up and not viewing each other as competition in several past blog posts.
And I think we’re hopefully seeing a shift in how female friendships are represented in the media; whether it’s fictional characters or real-life people.
But why is that such an important topic to me?
I have three sisters. From those three sisters, I have four nieces (and 4 nephews). My mother only had a sister and their mother was an only child. The XX chromosomes are strong in this family, and I’ve been surrounded by strong females all of my life.
But it’s not just about the women in my family. My mother didn’t have a ton of close friends. Honestly, she was an introvert (wonder where I got it…) and didn’t do a whole lot of socializing outside of work and home – not that she had much time to. But the close friendships she did have were rock solid; many of them I call “Aunt”.
It was those close friendships and her example of how to treat others, especially women, that really showed me how to have female friends as an adult.
The women in my life, my sisters and my friends, are not my competition. But they aren’t the only ones. The women not in my life; the other north Texas bloggers, bakers, writers, marketers, everything I’m interested in or think I could be a professional at, are not my competition, either.
Here’s the deal: we’re all trying to make it in this world. We’re all trying to use our voice and our skills to do better, whether that’s for ourselves, our families, our communities, or our world. We’re all trying to make a difference for somebody. But instead of trying to be better than the next woman, we should be trying to learn from her and be better than who we were yesterday.
As my friend Sara (from this post) put it, “Collaboration over competition… when you support other women, you’re not only creating a culture of inspiring women around you, but you’re passing on the baton to a younger generation of girls who will grow to inspire others around them.”
And we can do that by making a conscious effort to listen to how we react to other women. Pay attention to your thoughts when you interact with other females. Congratulate your friend that just got engaged. Buy from your friend who has her own business. Write about your friends that you admire. Support women-owned businesses.
Because, as the saying goes, “When women support each other, incredible things happen.”