I used to struggle with incessant jealousy of basically every other woman I met. Whether it was her amazing body, her hot boyfriend or her killer career, I just couldn’t help but compare my life to hers and come up short. Eventually, I made the decision to turn the jealousy I felt to admiration instead. It was a process (and if I’m being honest, I still struggle), but changing the way I think of others challenged me to change the way I think of myself.
- It makes me happy to make other women happy. Jimmy Durante sang, “It’s so important to make someone happy. Make just one someone happy.” Not only is this song catchy as hell, it’s the gospel truth. Happy people make people happy, and who can argue that the world needs a big ol’ spoonful of HAPPY? Giving a woman a genuine compliment, watching her face light up, knowing she feels good about herself in a society that makes it all too easy to hate our bodies….well, that makes me happy.
- The badass boss in me recognizes the badass boss in other women. It’s been a while since I’ve taken a yoga class, but that’s what they say, right? Something like that..? Anyway, appreciating a strong, beautiful woman instead of envying her gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling that I usually only get from a glass or four of wine. Who runs the world? I think you know the answer.
- YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE. Give a compliment, get a compliment. Give a girl stink eye because she’s WERKING the dress you couldn’t find in your size? Get stink eye from said girl because what is your problem…? In the immortal words of Justin Timberlake, what goes around gonna find its way back around. Translated: give what you want to receive.
- Changing my attitude has expanded my circle immensely. Vocalizing my admiration of women I’d otherwise envy has expanded my horizons in ways I never imagined. I’ve been introduced to new hobbies, new recipes, new friends, and new hair stylists (thank the lawd). Ladies have to help each other out….and we’re pretty damn good at it, if I say so myself (I do).
- I have some pretty incredible friends. If I’d continued to allow myself to live in the jealous, negative headspace I’d developed as some sort of needless defense mechanism, I would’ve missed out on several insanely rewarding lady friendships. I’m friends with women funnier than me who make me laugh. I’m friends with women smarter than me who make me think. I’m friends with women skinnier than me who let me eat their leftover fries. Everyone’s a winner.
- The less negative I am about other women, the more positive I am about myself. Studies have shown that once you stop seeking out reasons to dislike other women simply because you feel inferior, the negativity clouding your mind will soon clear to make room for positive thoughts. The studies I’m referencing are my own, and though I may not be a scientist, I speak from experience.
- ADMIRATION=INSPIRATION. Look, I’m also not a mathematician, but if there’s one thing I know for sure (what’s up, Oprah?), it’s this: I feel HELLA inspired whenever I see a woman I admire killing the game. I no longer look at her success as my loss. Instead, I see a strong-willed, intelligent woman paving the way for others like her, and that includes me. I feel grateful. I feel inspired.
- IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY, MAYBE YOU’RE BEING A JERK. A few years ago, I met a woman by whom I was absolutely immediately intimidated. She was powerful, talented, kind, and painfully pretty. On top of all that, we were in direct competition for a job I’d been vying for. I didn’t hate her but I sure as hell didn’t have many nice things to say about her. Most of what came out of my mouth was, “Who does she think she is?” or “WHAT A BITCH OH MY GOD CAN YOU BELIEVE THE NERVE WOW I DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE EVEN LIKE HER.” Finally, after weeks of putting up with my insufferable, pessimistic attitude, my friend said to me, “Maybe you’re just jealous.” Jealous? Me? Of her? How dare… okay, yeah. Two years later and that powerful, talented, kind, painfully pretty girl and I are friends. Oh, and she got the job.
- We’re all in this together. We’ve come a long way in recent years, but we still have a long way to go. The only way we’ll make it through (with our sanity) is by supporting one another, lifting each other up, passing along words of motivation and kindness when we feel defeated. A win for one strong, independent lady is a win for all strong, independent ladies. Keep kicking butt.