Female interaction gets a bad rap. The usual response to someone saying that she works in an all-female team is some eye- rolling, a crack about synchronized menstrual cycles and a look of pity followed by any variant on the following comment: “So, how’s that working for you?”
Much has been written about female competition, back-stabbing, hair- pulling and the like but the truth is that women have a longer history of collaboration than competition. Women have always supported each other, worked alongside each other and helped each other raise our children. We empathize with, laugh and cry with and cheer up each other. Still not feeling it? Read on for three ways in which you can flip the script on female interaction.
1) Emulate: We naturally measure ourselves against each other and learn from each other. You know most women really dress for other women. Men don’t notice that cute bag or those killer shoes! Comparison is a destructive process. It pits you against another person and you end up feeling as if you are lacking in some way. Emulation is a more positive process. It acknowledges that the other person has a positive trait you admire and that you feel capable of achieving. You learn and grow by example.
2) Collaborate: – work together, pool your resources. Look for areas of overlap and areas in which you can complement each other’s strengths and emphasize those aspects of your friendship or work relationship. Does your friend bake killer brownies? Ask her to whip up a batch for your kid’s birthday party. Are you a whiz at time management? Help your overwhelmed friend find structure and balance in her daily tasks.
3) Celebrate: – your friend just got a big promotion, is getting married, is pregnant or has some other good news to share. Do something radical and actually be happy for her and celebrate her success! Energetically, you speed up the process of good things finding their way to you and you save the time you would have wasted on the negative spiral of self-pity and jealousy.
Still not convinced? Then I’m going to pull out my trump card and appeal to your most basic nature. Here is a little known scientific fact. Are you ready? Here it comes…. Jealousy makes you ugly!! Yes it is true, it causes wrinkles, makes you fat, makes you break out, hair loss, receding gums, the whole bit.
To our mutual success ladies!