A Candle Loses Nothing by Lighting Another Candle…So Be Nice

Let’s talk about girls for a minute, shall we? Whether you are a female or you know our kind, chances are you’re familiar with our ways. There are many wonderful things about women. We’re smart. We’re fun. We’re funny. We’re strong. We have many talents. But sometimes we do unexplainable things. For example, we feel the need to be competitive with other women for no real reason. Many times we feel the need to assume that women we don’t know are probably going to be women we don’t like. Other times, women in power are harder on female employees instead of trying to help build them up and make them better. I read this quote that says, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle” and I love it. It’s easy to feel like someone else’s promotion or great relationship somehow means that you’re behind or lacking. It can feel like you have to fight to stay ahead. But you don’t lose anything by making someone else feel good or helping them succeed. This goes for both guys and girls, but since we’re talking about “girl on girl crime” (girls being mean to each other) we’ll focus on that. Someone else’s success and happiness costs you nothing, and it feels good to know that you’ve made someone else’s life better.

My future BFF Chelsea Handler actually talks a lot about this in interviews. Despite how she may come across on TV, she’s known for treating other women well. I love her for that. It always makes me sad
when women instinctively feel threatened or territorial around each other, especially at work or in social situations. I used to be this way too. Guy friend brings his new girlfriend out? Gotta sniff her out first before I decide if I like her. New girl at work? Gotta see what the deal is before I make a call on whether I like her or not. Then I realized that I’m secure with who I am and what I’m doing, so why am I being so catty? I don’t need to have a figurative territory war with other girls. In fact, it feels a lot better to automatically assume the positives about other women instead of ripping on their outfits or mannerisms as a safety mechanism. I’ve never trusted girls who say they’re “not a girl’s girl” and I never want to be that type of person. I get along well with guys, but ultimately my closest friends are other girls. I think part of being a girl’s girl means treating females I don’t know well, or at least not automatically assuming I’m not going to like them.

I used to see more of this “girl on girl crime” when I was in college and out at bars or parties. It was ruthless. There’d be squabbles in line at the bathroom or girls making comments about other girls who just walked in. Now that my life involves less bar talk and more 9 a.m. meetings, the girl on girl crime rate has gone down a bit, but not by much. This surprised me. I assumed with maturity and business cards comes more kindness, but this is definitely not the case. In fact, in some ways the situation is worse because the “crime” is less blatant. It’s more passive aggressive. You may not have a girl giving you the side-eye about your top of that guy you’re talking to, but you’ll get that same look about a comment you make at a meeting or the way you reply to an e-mail. It’s a rough world out there for females. But, as Coldplay says, are we part of the cure or are we part of the disease? As individuals we need to figure that out. Are we partaking in this crime or are we helping to make it easier on each other?

If you’re a female boss, are you helping your female employees get better or are you talking down to them? If you’re at a bar, what are you doing when a random girl tries to get by you? Making a comment about her outfit or are you just moving a little bit so she can get through? I’m not saying all the women of the world have to hold hands and sing together. I get it. This is real life. There’s going to be girls you don’t like. There’s guys you don’t like too. People can be mean and annoying or just rub you the wrong way. It’s fine. But before you automatically assume that the random new girl in your life (whether it’s at work, class, your sorority, etc.) is going to be on your “No” list, give her a fair shot. What do you think about “girl on girl crime” and what are you doing about it? Let me know!

 

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  1. […] terrific point that is often lost on people who are striving to be successful. You know that quote, ” A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle”? Clearly Chelsea has heard of it. I love that she is willing to go for hers, but doesn’t feel […]

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