When did women become so critical of each other? Really, when did this happen? This is a fun article that uses different movies to bring this point home and I think they do a great job describing how petty and critical women can be towards each other.
I remember when I was younger and judgement came at every turn.
– I felt like the only teenage who ever made a mistake when I ended up pregnant at 15. People counted me out and talked about me like my feelings didn’t matter.
– When I was a young woman dealing with low self-esteem issues, I recall people making assumptions about me prior to taking the time to get to know me. I didn’t feel pretty enough, worthy enough or deserving enough of true friendship.
– When I joined the Army, I thought I was driven and motivated as I looked for opportunities to progress through the ranks. Imagine my surprise when I was told I was bossy and pushy. Little did they know my motivation and sense of urgency came from being a single mother with a young son to feed and care for.
– Later in my military career as a senior leader, the criticism turned into me being too coddling and ‘motherly’ with my Soldiers. I made no apologies for being a leader who cared, who was approachable and available to my Soldiers. I remembered when I was in their position and how impactful it was when I had leaders who cared enough to make themselves available to help me during my times of need.
– Now as a Veteran and entrepreneur I find this trend continues. I’ve been told:
o I’m too bossy
o Difficult to work with
And the list goes on…
Despite all the criticism, I actually like myself. I mean I am in love with the woman I am, have been and am becoming each day as I strive to be the best me I can be. I realize I cannot please everyone and nor do I try – it’s exhausting. Here are three lessons I take away from my life of criticism:
Sisterhood is important. It is critical for women to have a tribe of supportive women around them. Society tells us too many conflicting things about what a woman should be, how she should act and what she should do with her life. I say – Screw that and block out that noise!! Be yourself and be happy with who you are. Enjoy life and have fun living the one you were given. Celebrate your accomplishments and do what you desire with your life. And make sure the women in your tribe do the same for themselves as they celebrate, love and support you.
Being a woman is only as tough as you make it. Being a woman is all I know so I embrace it. All my strengths and weaknesses. All my personality traits and quirkiness. And each and every one of my experiences make me the woman that I am today. Have they been all good – NO. But they’ve been all mine. They’ve taught me some valuable lessons about people, systems of the world and most importantly – they’ve taught me about myself.
The only opinion that really matters is MY OWN. Is there any more that needs to be said about this point. Not really, but I will leave you this – as women we tend to try to and be kind, which sometimes turns into passive behavior. When this happens, people will think they can say or treat you any kind of way as a result. Stand up for yourself and let people know you did not give them the right to pass judgement over you, your life or your life choices. So when Aunt Nancy ask you ‘when are you getting married?’ You can kindly let her know ‘no time soon Auntie, but when I set the date YOU will be the first to know!’ End of conversation.
Sisters, it’s tough enough being a woman today, let’s not add to the pressures by being so critical of each other. Rather let’s celebrate each other. I celebrate you Sister – now go out and Walk in your greatness!