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7 things women need to stop doing to each other

Posted June 1

1. Comparing

If there was only one mold that all women came out of then maybe comparisons would make a little bit more sense. For example, rough edges on one or a missing corner on another? There might be a reason to have a Quality Control Department for that.

Newsflash: women are not cut from one pattern.

What sense does it make to stand an oak tree next to a fir and run up a tally of points--high score winning? Firs and oaks are just different. Period. Both trees are beautiful and strong. End of story. Stop it with the comparisons. It gets you nowhere.

2. Gossiping and breaking confidences

If you want to be a good friend, or even a good fellow female traveler, stop whispering behind your sisters' backs.

Try this test: if you tell a woman something in confidence, wait and see if it comes back to you. If it does, it's a sure sign that woman can't be trusted. I know of nothing that destroys trust and faith in our girlfriends more than knowing someone has spoken about us behind our backs. If you want to be powerful--then gossip; if you want to be loved--never let those secrets leave your lips. Ever. And never ask others to share what you have no right to know.

3. Ignoring each other

Cold shoulders should be reserved for ski days and ice packs after rotator cuff injuries, not doled out at church or the workplace or neighborhood BBQ.

If women tried a little harder to just smile and kindly regard each other, the world would really be a much more peaceful place. It costs nothing to smile. It also costs $0.00 to be kind. If other women ignore you, there is no reason for you to stoop to their level. Hold your head up and be alert. Somewhere along your path today is at least one woman who could be greatly blessed simply by your acknowledgement that she exists.

4. Being nosey

If a woman wants you to know her business, she will tell you. If you try prying it out of her like opening a can without a can opener, serious risk is attached for you both to be cut by the jagged edges of that metal can. You don't really need to know as much as you think you're entitled to know, so just leave it alone. If there is a reason for you to know, in due time you will.

5. Withholding genuine praise and encouragement

So many women admire other women in their careers, style sense, mothering talents, cooking expertise, creative gifts, intelligence, and achievements, yet refuse to pay a compliment or give one another a genuine thumbs-up. Why? It's the competition factor.

If we want to be better women ourselves, we should help build each other up instead of tearing each other down. Withholding sincere support is abusive. Your kind words could be the very thing that helps someone else propel their interests forward, let alone your own. It's called the Law of the Harvest: withhold compliments, get none; be generous in your support of others, get it back tenfold.

6. Being uninterested in other mothers' children

Have you ever lived in a neighborhood long enough to have your children grow into adulthood there and then move away? A strange phenomenon takes place when younger families start to move in, yet because your own children are grown and there is no school or soccer or ballet connections to these other children, these newly moved-in mothers know nothing of your children and you know nothing of theirs. It can be a lonely thing for a woman to become an empty-nester and have no one ask how her children are doing.

Maybe you can see all the other young children at church and get a sense for who they are, but when your own have moved away and started families and careers of their own, being a mother in a community can become downright lonely. We should all be championing each other’s children, even the grown-up ones that we haven't met.

7. Pouting

If a friend, coworker, or acquaintance starts acting differently toward you, instead of pouting and thinking it's all about you, turn outward and ask yourself what you can do for her. Not everything is about you. Maybe she has been ill or received bad news. Perhaps she is caring for someone sick or elderly and she is just bone-tired. There could be dozens of reasons. If you pout and choose to be offended, no doubt she will sense it and become even less enthusiastic about your connection to her. Be patient. Give her time. She'll come around. If she doesn't, that's okay, too. You're not meant to be besties with everyone. Smile and move forward. There are many friends out there to make.

Gina Holt is a Utah native and happily married mother of two. Contact her at becomingcream@gmail.com.

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