I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat consoling a friend in tears over a female relationship. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been that friend in tears— raw, vulnerable, always freshly shocked at my inability to steel myself against what other women think of me. If you’re a woman, you’ve been there. It’s tale as old as time, so why do we keep coming back?
It’s simple— there’s a unique and beautiful magic when women work together. In friendship, on creative projects, in work, on movements. I worked as a content editor for women’s magazine leading an all female staff for several years and firsthand experienced the magic of women. Their strength, gentleness, imagination, silliness, and ability to persevere through all circumstances inspired me daily. It’s why I believe in women to lead, shape, and change the world.
Here are a few things I learned in my time working with and managing the women on my staff, things that I’ve carried over into my personal friendships and relationship with other women. Thought I’d share three of them here:
1. It’s starts with you.
Insecurity kills you before it kills anyone else. Despite seeming like it’s an external force, it actually is born within. No one, no woman, is responsible for establishing your own self-worth. That’s something you cultivate as you build relationship with yourself. The better relationship you create with yourself, the more you grow in the habit of not drawing yourself worth from the opinions of others, the easier relationships of any nature will become for you.
2. Celebration kills comparison.
Managing a group of creatives was challenging but not impossible. The opportunity for comparison lurked around every corner. But I quickly learned that when people feel like they are being affirmed and celebrating for their strengths, they tend to stay in their own lane. As lead editor I was always on the look out for ways to encourage and build up the women I worked for, so that they’d always feel empowered to put their best work forward. I don’t think this is exclusive to women.
3. Gossips ends with you.
This ones hard. Maybe you’re in a work environment with a woman who is hard to connect with, so you decide to swing low and connect with them over gossip (immediately the episode of Friends where Rachel tells her boss someone made out in the copy room with Ralph Lauren comes to mind!) But it’s been true in my own life too. Don’t settle for cheap connection with people. Resist the temptation to get ahead on the back of half-lies about other women. Gossip will always follow you. Ultimately I believe if you establish yourself as a safe place, as in, information trusted with you STAYS with you, you will create more meaningful and powerful connections with others.
These are just three of the things I carry with me at all times in my relationships with women, and you know what? It’s been a long ass time since I’ve been that girl crying over a broken female relationship. Be the kind of woman who exudes magic.