A list of things I have never understood in life:
-How cell phones work
-Why we can’t wear black and brown together
-People who don’t like dogs
-Girl on girl hate
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Now some of these, I have come to terms with. For example, I continue to wear black and brown together even though pretty much every fashion law ever created tells me I shouldn’t. Can’t be tamed.
Other items on the list, though, I don’t think I will ever be able to wrap my mind around. For example, girl on girl hate. So let’s talk it out.
Girl on girl hate
Ladies. Why do we do this? WHY?! Someone please explain it to me. I’ll wait.
Girl on girl hate presents itself in all kinds of ways. Sometimes it shows up blatantly in the way we gossip about one another behind each other’s backs. Other times, it’s much more sly and shady, showing up in smaller ways like the fact that we keep scrolling instead of “liking” another girl’s Facebook status about her big promotion at work.
And so I come back to my first point….why?! I think it’s safe to say that we’re all guilty of it. So why on earth do we keep doing it?
Why we do it
I have a theory about girl on girl hate and let me be transparent by saying that it is purely a theory. I don’t have a fancy degree that taught me these things and I’m not an expert. I’m just a fellow girl trying to get to the bottom of this girl eat girl world that we’ve created for ourselves.
Personally, I think girl on girl hate is so prominent because whether we admit it or not, we view everything as a competition. Don’t worry, guys do it too but they’re a little more obvious about it (“Hey bro, bet you $20 that I can shoot my rubber band farther than yours.” Etc.). But us girls are fickle creatures.
Everything seems to be a competition but we don’t talk about it outright. Instead, we let it consume us when a girl gets a cool opportunity before we do. Or when a girl gets more likes on her Instagram post than we do. It’s almost like we think we’re running a giant race and the first one to the top gets all the glory.
But here’s the thing: there’s plenty of space for ALL of us to get to the top! There’s no shortage of space up there! So while we’re all working our way to the top, let’s work on stopping the girl on girl hate. Here’s how:
Community over competition
This is probably one of the biggest steps to take in combating girl on girl hate. We need to start viewing fellow girls as our community rather than our competition.
I first started seeing this phrase pop up in photography groups on Facebook and I’ve since realized that it applies in pretty much every aspect of my life. My fellow girls are not people to leave in the dust or to try and beat. Instead, they are friends to help up when they stumble. Likewise, they can help me up when I stumble.
This is an easy concept on paper: we all just help each other out. Cool!
In real life, though, it’s much harder. For example, you took a trip to New York City and took a killer picture in front of the Empire State Building. You found the perfect filter on Instagram and got 75 likes. Two weeks later, a girl you went to college with also goes to New York City. Pretty soon, she’s posting the exact same photo you posted with a strikingly similar caption. And before you know it, she’s got 150 likes. Wait, hold up! That was your photo!
This is where that whole community over competition thing comes in. Yes, it was your photo. But she obviously saw your photo and was so inspired by your good idea that she chose to do something similar. That’s a good thing! All that “imitation is the highest form of flattery” and whatnot.
Instead of looking at her as a potential threat, look at her as a fellow girl just trying to make the best out of her life. Instead of passive aggressively scrolling past, try liking her photo and commenting, “Gorgeous! Loved NYC!” (skip the sarcasm!).
Community over competition!
Remember how it feels
One thing I’ve never been able to understand about girl on girl hate is that we’re all girls. And we all know how much it stings when you’re the victim of girl on girl hate. And yet, we all participate in girl on girl hate in some way, shape, or form. Why?! If we know how much it sucks to be on the receiving end, why do we so often find ourselves on the giving end?
To keep girl on girl hate at bay, try to always remember what it feels like to be the victim of girl on girl hate. For example, I’m a singer and have sung the National Anthem at many of our college’s football games. Once upon a time, one of my friends told me that while I was singing, other girls in the crowd were snickering about my voice and making fun of me.
I have full faith that my friend stood up for me in that moment but knowing that other girls had been making fun of me with was hurtful. That was over three years ago and it still is a source of insecurity for me. Girl on girl hate sucks and sticks with you. I would bet that almost all of you have a moment in your life where you remember being the victim of girl on girl hate.
Remember that moment when you’re about to dish something out. Even if you think it’s harmless, it’s not. You never know what will get back to that person or how they will take it. Your snide comment about someone’s frizzy hair could be the last straw that sends them crying to their mom (been there). Just because we’re all grown women doesn’t mean that hateful comments hurt any less.
Remember what it feels like to be hurting before you hurt someone else.
Lift each other up
In my opinion, community over competition paired with remembering how it feels are the most effective ways to combat girl on girl hate. Start viewing your fellow ladies as friends, confidants, colleagues, and fellow girl bosses and I promise your life will be so much richer. After all, we’re all just trying to break that glass ceiling!
So remember how it feels. And then lift each other up! We’re all in this thing together so let’s make it great. Community over competition. Always.
In what other ways have you combatted girl on girl hate? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below!