When I was 25, I changed careers and got a job working in an upscale office. I was surrounded by women my age, up to their mid-60s. My first day on the job, I was instructed to go sit with each of them at their desk for about a half hour. They were supposed to tell me what their role in the company was, what their typical day looked like, and how it would tie into my position. That kind of happened, but not on the level it should have.
A few women decided to let me know right away about how horrible all the women who worked at this fine establishment acted every day. How much backstabbing was happening, the name-calling, the competitiveness, who would listen to you, who had your back (apparently nobody, ever), and who would lie to your face (almost everyone, so I was told).
“Welcome to where I work, bitch. You are going to suffer here. Good luck, hope you hate it here as much as we do,” was what I gathered during this very unpleasant orientation. Frankly, it was a waste of my fucking time.
Not only was I greeted with this negativity and disarray on my first day, I was also lambasted during my first hour being employed by this company. Before I could sink my teeth into my new position, something I had been incredibly excited about, I wanted to throw my heels in my purse and run away screaming, but I didn’t.
Sometimes I think I should have, but most of the time, I realize the fuckery I watched many of those ladies engage in each day taught me something wonderful: I never wanted to be like them — like, not even a little fucking bit. I realized the way they talked about others meant they were truly unhappy about where they were in life. They got so tangled up in the dysfunction, paid so much attention to what everyone else was doing, it buried their awesomeness so deep even they forgot how to thrive without taking another down.
There is room for all of us to get what we want, and we can get it without taking away (or trying to) from someone else. Getting what you want in life with integrity is so much more satisfying than lying, cheating, stealing, gossiping, backstabbing, or cutting someone up into tiny bits so you appear to be some amazing person that knows what is best for everyone.
As women, we are told we should be so busy working on ourselves that there shouldn’t be a lot of room to worry about what other women are doing; easier said than done, I know. I am sure you have heard making comparisons can lead to unhappiness faster than you can say, “Looking at you makes me feel like I suck” — yeah, we all get it. Personally, I believe it with everything I have because I have been guilty of feeling less than perfect after comparing my life to another.
But we are all curious, jealous creatures by nature, and when we strive to get more for ourselves, or reach certain goals, it becomes hard not to look over our shoulder and check out the people who (in our eyes) are doing it better, who are more successful, who have things we want.
The thing is, we all have different stories, different circumstances, that led us to where we are. You might be amazing at something someone else can’t wrap their head around, and they may strive to be like you in that way and you don’t even know it. We all excel in different areas.
I was talking to a friend about this topic recently, and she said something that made so much sense: A lot of times when a woman sees another successful women, whether she is successful in her marriage, home life, or career, she looks at her and thinks, I want to be HER, instead of thinking, I want to be me and be successful in my own way. This can turn into such a mindfuck, it is stressful to hang onto thoughts like that, which is a big reason why we feel the need to take someone else down.
I have seen women who are so busy grabbing others by the shirt collar and trying to run ahead of them, they are tripping all over the damn place, but (and this is a big but) I have also seen women who take no bullshit from anyone, but do so with grace, without tearing others apart, without the gossip and the lying. They admit to feeling jealous at times, but instead of using that to fuel a fire to take out another female, they use that energy to focus on what they need to do in order to be happy and to give credit to other women when credit is due.
Soon they are right where they want to be, and it was all done with a positive mindset — “I want this, and I am going to get it with integrity.” And they are so fucking happy that they spread that shit around instead of taking away from someone else. We need more women like that. We need to be raising our daughters to think like that. This is the definition of being a Queen.
Let’s let go of the negative thoughts and habits that hold us back. Let’s replace them with focusing on our own shit, honing our own talents. It is so much less consuming, so much more peaceful, and so much more productive. I promise you.
This “That bitch is going down” behavior starts at such a young age. I remember sitting with my daughter in a conference dealing with this bullshit in the second grade. It is a learned behavior, but we can rise above. Perfection isn’t the goal; we are always going to have something to say about some things, and nobody can be cheery and empowering all the time. But there is room for all of us to have a seat at the table, and more importantly, we need to set that example for our kids. Trying to bring someone else down so that you can feel better about yourself just makes you look like an asshole, and we are all trying pretty damn hard not to raise assholes.