Not too long ago, someone I considered as close as a sister accused me of competing with her because she thought I wasn’t happy about her success in life. I was initially so hurt. It felt unjust. It wasn’t fair. What had I done to make her think that? I was genuinely really happy for her, and I thought she knew that.
I wanted to be angry. I wanted to look for every piece of evidence so that I could say that she was the competitive one. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wouldn’t have done any good but reinforce what she already thought about me.
So now I constantly ask myself, why do women compete? What makes us think that someone else’s success invalidates our own? Why have close female friends turned on me in the past? I have so many questions and no answers. I’ve read theories on why women do this, but nothing ever really seems definitive.
It’s especially alarming that I would see it in the little girls I used to work with. They would tattle on each other and belittle or humiliate someone they thought was better than them. Unfortunately, this kind of toxic behavior tends to get worse with age rather than better. Girls hate each other for no reason. In fact, they look for reasons to hate each other. Then there’s the whole “I’m not like other girls” mentality that’s so rampant.
Honestly, even as I think about these things, it’s difficult for me not to fall into the pit of being a competitive girl. I sometimes think, “Does she think that looks good on her?” or “Ew her laugh is so fake.” I catch myself doing this far more often than I’d like to admit.
As hard as it is, I’m constantly trying to rewire my brain to uplift other women more. It doesn’t do anyone any good to put down other women. It won’t make me better. It won’t make my life better. I encourage you to do the same. Mind your thoughts and your heart. Your actions will follow.
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
– 2 Corinthians 12:10 NIV