The Reservoir Beneath Female Rivalry
Have you ever looked into a child’s eyes before?
I don’t mean to sound overly emotional or anything. I have a point here.
Recently I managed to find myself observing a young girl of about 4 or 5 at church. She was looking around the church; her gaze so innocent.
I noticed it looked so untainted by the world. It had not yet been touched by competition, jealousy, or rivalry yet. Everyone was her friend!
We’ve discussed negative feelings related to work on this blog.
When another female is doing better then us we feel negatively toward her; it is part of our biology.
What most women are searching for is women supporting women.
But I’ve been toying with the idea…will women ever get past those negative feelings?
Is it in the cards for us?
Admittedly even those of us with the best intentions still get jealous if an opportunity is handed to another woman instead of ourselves.
I had all those thoughts in my head as I stepped into a meeting at my job.
The meeting happened to be all females.
During that meeting, I observed something special.
One woman shared a story where she was the underdog. You could tell this situation affected the woman. She went through a hard time.
I connected to the story and as far as I could tell so did the other women.
Each person in the meeting had a role.
There was the leader. Who we all rallied behind. She was killing it at this meeting.
And that day I thought to myself a star is born. “She will go far” in this business, I thought to myself.
The common element of the meeting was women empowering women.
I played the role of the listener. I was very much paying attention to what everyone said and also providing support.
Our defenses were down after the emotional story was told.
For the first time, we connected as a group.
Sure there was competition between all of us on any given day.
That’s what happens when one wants to be successful in their job. It’s human nature.
Do You Remember?
Do you remember the movie, Titanic?
Remember the part where the captain saw the tip of the iceberg?
But looking a little closer, he noticed there’s so much more to it than he thought.
I realized the competition we feel is the tip of the iceberg. If you look below the surface, there’s a reservoir of emotion and connectedness between women that is often untapped.
There’s a unique bond between women.
An understanding of the similar path we walk. Whether we are high-level executives or a broke college kid.
Here’s my theory: this bond started when we were Neanderthals and continued through time up to the present day.
Each one of you knows exactly what our gender has been through.
It’s embedded in our DNA.
The struggles: childbirth, loss, wanting to be taken seriously, the emotional pain of life.
The pain of being a woman is real, Empowered Ladies.
Women empowering women.
If all women can connect to the deep reservoir of emotion just below the surface of our feelings, then we can find a lot of power there.
Because in that place there isn’t competition. Jealously doesn’t exist. Just a deep understanding of each other and a rally behind each other.
The next time you feel that familiar tinge, try looking below it. Keeping the reservoir in mind.
As women, we have to be mindful of how we act toward other women. We know that tight feeling in our stomachs will come back as soon as we’re threatened. However, we shouldn’t resist it.
Instead, let it surface and let it go. We can then focus our attention on cultivating mutual respect for each woman that we encounter in our day to day lives.
For each woman goes through the same struggles I mentioned.
Being a woman is sacred.
We should acknowledge that in each woman we see.
When we show mutual respect and take each other seriously, then we can watch the other person’s confidence increase. We should all share in the role of women empowering women.
If there’s one thing that is true, it’s that life is difficult sometimes.
In a sea full of “no’s” and “you’re stupids” don’t you want to be the bright spot in another woman’s day? Cheering them on?
Let’s think back to a time when another woman complimented you. What did it awaken in you?
Weren’t you so thankful to her?
Let’s get it straight I know we all want to be the leader, the boss at work. In fact, to understand the rivalry, I’ve put together an equation.
Attention Awarded To Another Female + Our Motivation To Succeed = Rivalry
Women Empowering Women: What’s in a Leader?
If there’s one thing I truly admire about leaders is that they know when to lead and when to follow.
If someone else has more advanced knowledge of a situation, they don’t but in and try to outshine them. Instead, they respect the others knowledge. They listen and observe.
The moments that I admire leaders the most is when they let others shine. Not when they are struggling for power and authority.
We are all leaders in our own way. We are all teachers.
There are certain moments that others will shine brighter.
It doesn’t mean that any of us are missing the mark. Trust that what is meant for you will be given to you.
I may be getting ahead of myself, but I think all of us can be like that innocent little girl at the beginning of this post. The one who doesn’t look at another female with rivalry in her eyes.
Instead, she looks at her as a friend and an ally.
Author: Gabriella DiDio
Gabriella is a millennial freelance writer based in Seattle. A businesswoman turned writer, Gabriella understands the highs and lows of life. Especially how hard women can be on each other.