Don’t wait. Start supporting women today.
Women supporting women is a hot topic right now. In fact, it’s one of She Explores Life’s favorite topics. However, female camaraderie in practice isn’t always as simple and fun as it comes across in the virtual world. Most women have stories of being bullied or mean-girled by other women at some point in their lives. And studies support what most of us have all-too-often encountered in our own relationships with women: females are aggressive/competitive (or bitchy) to females they see as a threat.
We spoke a little bit about the scarcity model in our article about things women should never do again. The belief that men/mates, jobs, friends, and opportunities for women are limited and that we need to be cutthroat with one and other to get what we want, need or deserve is often behind bad female to female behavior. This deep-seated conditioning weakens women as a collective.
Breaking thoughts, beliefs and fears that have been ingrained into us since the day we were born is hard. It won’t happen overnight. But if supporting your sisters and creating a future that is truly female is important to you, there are small changes you can start making today to help lift all women up while deconstructing those false ideas and beliefs that are keeping you from being the best friend to women that you can. The following are just a few ideas you can begin putting into practice starting now.
11 things you can do to support women
- Shop women-owned businesses: Ok, this one is no surprise. But, how often do you go out of your way to see who owns the businesses you frequent? We are just suggesting you support women by puting a little extra effort into finding out which businesses in your area are woman-owned so that you can frequent them.
- Pay attention to your thoughts when in the company of women: It’s easy to dismiss thoughts as being harmless, but more often than not, those catty thoughts that enter our minds (often fueled by jealousy or fear) translate into action or an energetic exchange that is felt by the object of your negative thoughts. You don’t have to beat yourself up for having a mean thought, just take a moment to recognize it for what it is and replace it with a complimentary or kind thought instead.
- Be a cheerleader: If a woman in your life wants to try something new, be the first one to show support. Use encouraging words and actions to support women. How do you put encouragement into action? If they need a ride to do something important to them, offer to drive. If they need a wing-woman to help them feel brave, be that person.
- Keep your negative thoughts to yourself: Is your best girlfriend quitting her safe job to travel for a year? Maybe you think she’s making a poor decision. Keep your thoughts to yourself. Instead, offer all of the support you can possibly muster to help her find success. (Note: if your girlfriend is making decisions that you feel risk her physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing you should say something.)
- Mind your compliments: While every woman loves to hear how beautiful she looks every once in a while, make sure you are telling the women in your life how smart, brave, and strong they are too.
- Don’t judge: Women have been programmed to judge each other in most cruel and hurtful ways. If you catch yourself judging your female friends, check yourself. Even if you aren’t saying anything, judgy vibes are biting and hurtful to other women. If you just can’t stop yourself. Take a break. Takes some distance, and maybe turn your judgemental eye inward and focus on what it is inside of you that is triggering your feelings.
- Show up: Got a girlfriend who is struggling? Send her a daily text to let her know you are there. Consistently being there for the women in your life is essential to strengthening the female tribe and a great step to take toward supporting women more.
- Create space for women: Start a club, group, gathering or event for women-only! This is particularly important when it comes to industries or activities dominated by men.
- Hire women: There is power in money. Hire capable women when you can!
- Mentor women: Do you have a skill that would help other women in their personal or professional lives? Mentor them!
- Use your voice or platform: to stand up for all women’s rights.