There are so many organisations (including mine) that promote the slogan ‘Women Supporting Women’ which is admirable in principle. But do we support one another?
As we approach International Women’s Day (Friday 8th March), I think it is essential to ask ourselves as individuals and groups “do I/we genuinely support other women around me/us?” Be honest.
I was walking with my dog this morning and overheard two ladies chatting (I wasn’t prying, I promise – they were speaking very loud!)
“Oh, I didn’t realise… I won’t be so hard on her next time.” Is what I heard one say to the other.
It is human nature to view situations from our point of view. We bring our experiences, expectations and opinions with us to every event. But this can lead us to misjudge others, especially if we don’t know the back story or all the facts.
When someone behaves in a manner we don’t like; our automatic reaction is to criticise, to distance ourselves and to gossip about them.
What we should be doing instead is find out why that person reacted in such a way. Behaviour comes as a result of self-talk and self-talk comes as a result of inner thoughts. We never know what is going on in someone else’s head or their life and so we shouldn’t presume.
Women are wonderful at offering a helping hand when we know someone is in need. But when we don’t have a ‘reason’ to justify the other person’s behaviour, we tend to be less compassionate.
If I was to tell you that there is a woman in your workplace who needs your help, would you offer assistance? What’s the first answer that came into your head?
“I don’t have time,
Can’t she ask someone else,
I don’t think I will be able to help her,
I have nothing to offer,
I’m too busy.”
Or maybe you said,
“Of course I will reach out to her,
What can I do to help,
What assistance does she need?
I want you to be aware of your physical reaction to this request.
What happened in your body?
Did you feel nerves in your stomach?
A frown from fear of commitment?
Or did you feel needed, and want to come to the rescue? Did this request warm your heart?
All the women around you (at home, work, socially) need you. We need one another, to build each other up, to share stories, to understand and support one another. To be open and honest and real. To create a community and a feeling of belonging.
The biggest surprise is that you will get more from this than you give because that’s the way the universe works.
If there is a female relative or friend in your life who has been distant recently or their behaviour has been unusual, why not take a moment during International Women’s Week to call them and ask “is everything ok?” And hopefully, someone will do the same for you. Keep women supporting women alive.