by - June 09, 2017

As I’ve developed and grown as a person over the years I’ve realised that, to me, it’s far more important to have a tribe of gal friends who are there for you, support you wholeheartedly, and selflessly encourage you with pom-poms at the ready.

Of course, it’s always a bonus when they’re rightly stern with you, offer you advice, and tell you the hard truths. Having a handful of close friends who have your back is far more important to me than a countless number of faux-friends who get arsey with you if you don’t want to go out partying one night. (I’m old, I’m tired, get over it.)

One of my big goals this year was to connect more and more with the incredible women I already have in my life. That is still a ginormous priority with me, and I intend to spend more time with them, talk with them more, laugh with them more, and appreciate them more.

I honestly believe that when women are there for one another that magical things truly do happen. It’s undeniable that support and encouragement goes such a long way.

These women don’t have to be in your life physically, they can absolutely be a digital presence. I barely see one of my nearest and dearest girls, but we message almost every day. We whine at each other (healthy venting!), we share hilarious happenings, but most of all we support each other. Bloggers have their own little tribes, I’ve seen it first hand on Twitter. So many gals loving each other and supporting each other, swapping numbers and messaging on a daily basis. How amazing is that?!

Recently I’ve experienced a wad of unnecessary hate from women of a variety of ages, and none of which I can genuinely understand where the bees in their bonnets have come from. I’ve been sat there, receiving the hate, wondering ‘what the fu----‘. Honestly. The playground nonsense that goes on in the lives of bored women is some epic stuff that you couldn’t think up in your wildest dreams. It’s honestly laughable, but at the time it’s really spiteful, demeaning, and petty, and left me feeling pretty peeved. You then start to think ‘is it me?’ No. No it is not (unless you really did start the war, then yes, yes it was you). Most of these petty remarks and comments come from women who are bored, jealous, unfulfilled, or are simply judgemental. They make some pretty incredible and wholly unnecessary spiteful digs or create issues out of nothing. I had harsh words and teasing from girls all the way through school. Either my boobs were too big (no joke, this happened), I was too clever, I read the wrong books, my hair wasn’t as straight as theirs, I was too tall, I was too short…

Now I’m 28. I’m in full-time employment, I’m also self-employed, and I newly blog. I don’t need the adolescent bullying. Yes I have bad days, and yes I can snap, but I do apologise when I’ve realised I’ve been a bit feisty. I certainly don’t go out of my way to make another woman miserable. There’s no need for all of the hate women put on each other, we shouldn’t be competing with one another – we should be congratulating each other for our successes, no matter how small. We should be cheering each other on and encouraging the good times.

A woman I know (who I don't see very often) recently approached me to make a point of telling me that she'd noticed I'd lost weight. Amazing! How selflessly kind, and it totally made my day. Being fitter and slimmer is one of my twenty-seventeen goals and is something I'm working really hard to achieve. Little kind gestures like that cost us nothing, but can mean so much to the person they're aimed at. 

It’s so rare for a woman to selflessly complement another woman, so when they do it’s extra special. I definitely get that warm and fuzzy feeling when a fellow gal leaves me a genuine and kind comment, because I know that the other woman is sat there feeling the same emotions that I am, going through the same daily hardships that I am (granted we may go through them at different times, some hard times worse than others), and are just wanting to spread a little love and joy. We can relate to one another. I definitely find it hard (awkward) to complement random women I don’t know – especially in person (unless it’s 1am and I’m in the club toilets), so I know it means that much more when I receive a random complement.

Because of this, I try my absolute best to post genuine comments on other women’s Instagram/Facebook/Twitter pics. I also do my best to complement other women when I genuinely think what they're wearing is nice, or how they've done their hair is amazing. I also now completely understand how hard it is to get those perfect Instagram snaps on a regular basis. Hats off to you beautiful ladies, you’re all killing it! .

For some unknown reason women seem to think that it’s ok to put down other women. To judge other women negatively. To unnecessarily whisper lude comments about other women. We’re all guilty of it. But it doesn’t feel nice in any way when it’s in reverse and it’s you on the receiving end of that pointless put-down. I always feel so much worse when a fellow gal puts me down over a man putting me down – because it’s completely unavoidable, hugely personal, and often stems from pure boredom and jealousy.

Let me put it this way… would you rather feel empowered by complementing another woman, or would you rather feel temporarily smug by grinding another woman down with a snide, unjust remark? When you do a good deed, that person also feels empowered, feels grateful, feels happier. But when you try and have power over someone just to make yourself feel better, well, you’ve just made another person feel hugely miserable, upset, or angry. What for? To give yourself 10 minutes of smirking time? I’m definitely all for being just, for not being walked over, and for rightly standing up to cruel women… but unnecessary jibes are hurtful to both sides.

There are many forms of being/feeling ‘empowered’, but I don’t mean whip your bras off and post a sexy snap on Instagram (but go you if that's what empowers you!). I mean empowering as in building each other up, finding your lady-tribe, encouraging each other to grow, supporting ideas, supporting movements, all while sharing the heartache and the good times. Be honest with each other (careful how you phrase that stern honesty!). I personally feel so empowered when I come up with a brand new idea that I’m so proud of and my gal friends get excited about it with me. Granted they tell me if it isn’t working too, and that’s also just as good because it leads me to the right path.

You can empower the small stuff and the big stuff. Look at the new Wonder Woman movie. I’ve seen so many female celebs on Instagram showing their excitement for a female produced movie with an absolutely gorgeous lead actress. That is a community of women in the spotlight standing together, and that is empowering ladies everywhere – especially the younger generation who are going to look at this amazing female superhero and think that could be me. If a fellow blogger or Instagrammer or friend has a brave moment and posts a photo of themselves in an outfit that they wouldn’t necessarily try before, go out of your way to leave an encouraging comment! If they look fierce, tell them they look fierce! If their outfit is amazing, tell them it’s darn amazing. Kind words of encouragement go such a long way. You'll feel amazing for it, she'll feel amazing for it, and it creates a chain of good vibes that keep on going.

So leave the snide comments at home. Don’t insult that random girl on the other side of the room, maybe she’s having a rough day or got caught in the rain. Don’t try and bring down a female colleague because she’s getting a little extra recognition, look at her and say ‘wow, well done’ whilst being inspired by her to do a little more. 

Strong women support each other. Strong women build each other up. Strong women praise each other. Bored, petty, judgemental, jealous, unfulfilled women bring each other down. Be there for each other, complement each other, offer praise, offer advice selflessly…. because amazing things really do happen when women support each other. It’s far more powerful to say those nice words and to offer a helping hand. Imagine the incredible response you’d get in return.

Leave a comment below and let me know how you’ve spread the kindness to a fellow gal lately, or if you’ve received some empowering inspiration!

Claudia xo

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