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March 26, 2012

Women And Relationships: Cleaning Up The Toxicity

IStock_0cattywomenallI’m often shocked at the way women can treat one another.  It seems as though we can be one another’s greatest support or worst enemy.  When we like someone, there’s nothing we won’t do for them.  When we don’t like someone—well, it can get very ugly. 

Far too many women can be catty, mean and vindictive if we don’t like a person.  It’s as though we got stuck in our Junior High persona and forgot to mature and grow up.  We talk poorly about how other women dress, how they talk, who they date, how they walk, how they live their lives and on and on. 

Sometimes our cattiness is about our own insecurities; other times we gossip and trash-talk other women as a way of connecting to the women in front of us.  Some of us get vindictive when we feel we’ve been wronged, while others of us are just doing what we know.  Because cattiness is so common, many women are unconscious of the impact of cattiness on others. 

Bad mouthing another person helps us feel better about ourselves in the moment.  When others join us in this, we feel a sense of belonging and perhaps even popularity.  We forget, however, that while we may feel good cutting down someone else, the person we’re cutting down feels like sh*t.  Most of us can look back and remember being on the other side of gossip, cattiness or mean-spirited behavior.  When you’re the one on the receiving end of it, it is anything but connecting or fun—it’s a miserable place to be.

Regardless of what the reason is behind our cattiness, gossiping or mean-spirited behavior, the reality is that this behavior is harming other women, our world and ourselves.  Our cattiness and cruelty toward other women keeps women, as a whole, down.  Until we can learn to lift other women up, women across the board will struggle.  The truth is that 99% of our cattiness is truly about our own insecurity.  It’s not about the other women; it’s about our own internal health. 

I believe it’s time for grown women to leave the mean girls hovering inside them back in Junior High.  It’s time for grown women to start banding together to create a more positive future for all women—not just those lucky enough to be in the “in crowd.”  Stop judging others and instead start connecting to our shared humanity.  Cattiness is about our own insecurity and lack of health.  It has nothing to do with the other person.  Start doing your own internal work and become a woman you can be proud of rather than just another woman dragging other women down.

Far too many of us have been taught to gauge our worth based on how we look, who we date, how much we weigh and who we know.  It’s time women stopped grading one another with these superficial, harmful, false pillars of worth.  The truth is we are ALL worthy.  We are all fellow human beings trying our best to make our way in a difficult world.  It will benefit all of us when each of us can be a little less judgmental and a lot more supportive.

If you’re going to judge anything, judge a person for his/her character, integrity and willingness to do the right thing in the face of endless pressure to do the more hurtful thing.  Do your part in building women up across the board.  With sexism, pornography, the sex-trade, prostitution and on and on—we have enough to fight against.  The last thing we need is to have to fight against other women, too.

Challenge:  Become the type of woman who builds other women up rather than tears them down.  Do your own internal work so you can learn to celebrate the successes of other women rather than be threatened by it.  You will benefit and so will our world. Women all over the world--take the step and begin to unite, not divide.


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