Women everywhere! There is one thing you are doing wrong. Instead of pulling each other down, it’s time to help and empower each other. While the battle between the two sexes is one thing, the fight between the same sex is an important issue.
In every society, women had to struggle to have their fundamental rights recognized. Women’s transition from their primary role of homemakers to working alongside men in the professional world did not happen overnight. Decades of struggles and countless sacrifices have led to this day where men and women are considered to be equal counterparts in a civilized society. There is also the never-ending pressure on women to prove themselves as equal to men. Women today have become competitive, with the men and other females around them. A lot of us thrive on attention, so when other females get more attention, our instant reaction is the awakening of the green-eyed monster.
Women are emotional creatures.
Nothing compares to the compassion, empathy and love women can give to each other yet when it comes to women’s jealousy of each other, nothing can match that too. Men, on the other hand, are wired differently. If they see other man making more money than them, their reaction is to see what this man is doing differently. Is it a result of harder work or is it that the man is better at networking or does he have a better education? If a woman, however, finds another female more successful than her, for a significant number, it’s time to plot to bring her down. It could be a seemingly innocent yet snide remark, a malicious piece of gossip when she is not around, or sometimes it’s a sinister plan to harm her emotionally or physically. I am not saying that all women are alike. There are always exceptions, and some men can be prone to behave ladylike too.
In my professional career, I have come across two kinds of women. Type A and Type B. These types are not to be confused with the different kinds of personalities.
Type A, are the women who are successful, cutthroat, often labeled as selfish because they know how to say no and get what they want. They are women who have battled the women kind jealousy in their professional and personal lives. They know how to juggle the demands of work and home life and are the envy of others. Type B women are the ones who are struggling at work, have the need to please everyone and yet feel frustrated and are unable to balance their professional and personal lives. Type A women at work are nurturing. They believe in empowering other women, and will give others the opportunity to grow. Usually, because they are already successful and are in the position to do so.
Type B women, on the other hand, would keep themselves occupied, by coming up with different ways to pass on that snide remark to their “rivals”. They will be the ones who will try to find the easy way to succeed at work. They will usually miss out on opportunities to grow and develop meaningful interpersonal relationships.
And it’s not always in the professional life we come across the female “enemy’. I have had my share of friendships going sour over the years. Girlfriends who I called my best friends are strangers now. One loved ‘ex-friend‘ did not know how to vent out her jealousy hence she used a century-old tactic. She sent out a mail, a few months after my marriage, using the “S***” word for me. If you can’t find anything else to put down a woman, you can always use this “name” to tear down her dignity. I did not believe in bringing her down, so I wished her luck and moved on. Now this is a friend who on occasions has claimed how jealous she can be of other females who are successful, richer or seem to be happier in life.
Another friend, during a conversation regarding my fitness routine, snubbed me saying I was ungrateful to be complaining and asked me to stop because she could not listen to it as she was struggling to lose weight.
So how can we put an end to this catfight in the professional and personal life?
Here are 5 ways that can help you control the green-eyed monster:
1. Check yourself whenever the green-eyed monster rises in you. If a female colleague or even a close friend gets promoted instead of you, try to find out why and try to emulate their work behavior. Be more determined to work harder. Prove yourself so next time you are not overlooked for a well-deserved promotion.
2. At work organize a group of like-minded women who meet each other every month to discuss their work problems. They can solve issues if there are any amongst them. They can empower each other by sharing resources and assisting each other overcoming current challenges. This group can also help build a special camaraderie with your fellow colleagues.
3. If you are a mother, educate your girls. Do not tell them that only if they are thinner or prettier or taller they will do well in life or will find a good husband. That just tells them to seek attention and become competitive with other females if they are perceived to be better than them. Instead, tell them to be kind, compassionate and teach by example. But foremost, tell them to respect each other. Women want respect from men. It’s not all right when a man calls a woman a bitch or a slut, but it’s completely okay for a woman to label each other. Why have the double standards? To get respect, you have to respect yourself and your kind.
4. Mentor a junior female at work or someone from your university or school. To be a good mentor, you have to be a good role model and have a positive attitude. You can show them how to be compassionate to other women, develop a strong work ethic. By equipping them with the rights skills and resources, you will set a trend to empower other females in the future.
5. If you witness a woman belittling another, stop her right away. It could be a friend acting out in jealousy and backbiting about a mutual friend. Don’t be a part of it but rather explain to your friend what she is doing and help her overcome the negativity.
Jealousy is a natural human trait, and I admit I have fallen victim to its effects at times as well. So these recommended ways are by no means conclusive. I invite and encourage you to comment below on other ways women could foster a more positive environment and enjoy healthy competition.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shamim is an editor at MCL. After her career hit a bump in the road, adjusting to New York where, according to a song “women are beautiful and everyone has a job” life is certainly not easy for Shamim. She bid adieu to a career in education in Pakistan when she moved to New York City after getting married and still awaits a work permit. Taking journalism classes at NYU School of Continuing Education and working on a blog keeps her motivated. When she is not writing, she can be found spending time on a yoga mat and walking around the city of New York discovering new coffee shops. More about Shamim!
Featured photo credit: Flickr/ R Kurtz