My last post touched on how I was raised with an all too common female myth of competition. Now I am going to delve just a little bit deeper into the subject, and the conflicts that I had to overcome and still do when interacting with women today. As a society we are raised to keep work, home, and our family all in proper and perfect order all by ourselves. We are taught that women are the competition and we can only make a name for ourselves by outdoing the lady down the street. As I mentioned there can only be one best friend, and all other women are out to get you. It is a sad but all too true myth that has kept many women from creating community and support systems that would be beneficial to all. This is not a post though to place blame, just more to express where I came from and to accept and grow from those all too common norms.
When I was a young teenager I watched the adult women in my life and how they interacted for guidance. It seemed that they believed in wine, makeup and gossip. And as is all too common, children grow up either emulating their elders or trying to aim for the complete opposite behavior. I chose the latter in concept. However I did not have any skill set in mind, to replace the gossipy interactions. So I developed friendships with men, rather than learn to forge close bonds with woman. And those I did create bonds with were not what I now would recognize as healthy.
The truth is, I have made a lot of mistakes when it comes to female interaction. I have pushed away loved ones to prevent myself from getting hurt. I have closed myself off emotionally to ensure that my nearest and dearest couldn’t know my inner thoughts, rationalizing that if they didn’t know my secrets then they couldn’t stab me in the back later or tell all their friends. I isolated myself in an effort to protect myself, my pride and simply shut myself off. I was raised to believe that this was the only way to interact with woman. That they were my enemy, out to get me, and could not be trusted in any capacity.
After my last post, I realized that I was not alone in this misguided thinking. I am recognizing that woman should be champions of support for each other. We should cherish each others differences and support the ladies in our lives. We should be free to be intimate with our emotions, desires, and dreams. And yet, like many out there, I did not have a template to achieve this growing up. Instead I had catty women, who never truly trusted one another and were constantly vying to be so and so's best friend, as there could be only one.
I cannot make the pain I caused the beautiful woman of my past go away (both inside and out), but I can try. And further, I can help educate other woman that we can work together in business, friendship and relationships without contempt or jealousy. I may not yet have mastered the art of the female compliment, but I remember the ladies who have complimented me in the past, and I cherish those moments. They stand out for me, and they have made a very positive impact, tearing down the myth that I was raised to believe. The ladies in my life are not out to get me, they are here to love and support me. We do not get together and gossip. Instead with have conversations about our goals, dreams and provide support during the rough patches in our lives.
I did not see this type of interaction growing up, but it is my earnest hope that the generation to come does. That they grow up seeing the benefits of a female positive bonded society, and they forge healthy relationships with their peers and allies as children, instead of feeling the emptiness that I did, and frankly didn't recognize until my 30's. And a personal thank you to all the women who have stood by and supported me as I broke away from this myth and opened myself up to your love and support. I love you all!