Women get a bad reputation: we’re thought to be cruel and jealous towards one another. Images of Mean Girls, Gossip Girl, The O.C. flash by. These films and shows display and even mock it: women pitting themselves against one another in the battle to be “Queen,” leaving their “friends” behind in the dust. As per Rachel McAdams, “Women would rule the world, if they only stopped hating each other.” Now, I refuse to believe the majority of women prescribe to the hate-and-be-hated lifestyle, and that there are many groups of women out there, much like my own group of friends, who do not gossip, who love each other, and who want and expect nothing but success for one another.
I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by brilliant, beautiful, and strong women in my life who happily support one another. DevoKit’s blog page is a good example of it: a collection of pieces from awesome friends who are successful, proud of it, and want to support their friends so that we all grow together.
I assume that most women are keen to see each other succeed. So, show it off! One of the best ways my friends do it for me? Aside from contributing their time and thoughts to this blog, they shamelessly like everything I post about. I could post eight times in a row about the benefits of raisins and they would sit there and like, share, and promote every single post (and then message me to inquire about my current raisin obsession and if I could please, please, stop). Sharing your friends' work and their shining moments is a great way to spread the love.
As well as showing it off, always keep your eyes and ears open. I am constantly making mental notes of how things, people, conversations, or anything I am doing relates to the people in my life. How can I help my best friends succeed? Does an event I am going to have anything to do with their work, and how can it be involved? Did someone I know mention being in a field that could boost my friend’s career via mentorship? Is one friend looking to connect with someone for a service that another friend offers? Building out their networks and providing opportunities are some of the greatest ways to support your friends in their endeavours.
And finally, let them know personally how proud you are of them. I can be terribly bad at this myself (unless I’ve had some wine) - I get embarrassed doling out compliments and praise. Further, I am not very good at accepting them gracefully. I prefer the “ah, don’t look at me!” approach as opposed to a sincerely given, “thanks.” Don’t be shy - let your friends know how proud you are of their hard work and how much they deserve their success. And thank every individual who writes, types, or showers you in praise. Hearing it from those around you feels amazing, and telling your friends how much you respect and look up to them is even better. Even if it takes a few glasses of wine to get past your embarrassment, go for it and let them know how you feel!
Without the support of my friends, I can sincerely tell you that I would not be where I am today. The women I text daily, see as often as I can, and talk to regularly are my foundation. They have blunt advice, strong values, incredible success, and are proud of everything that I accomplish. I am the same for them: there is not a day that goes by where I am not proud of them, bragging about their accomplishments to a colleague, or thinking of new ideas to boost their own personal success. Don’t become a stereotypical woman you see on television: success cannot be achieved alone or by stepping on someone to get to the top. Support one another and be proud of each other. That’s how we’ll get ahead to rule the world, after all ;).