I was recently watching Jada Pinkett’s show “The Red Table Talk” with her mother, Adrienne Banfield Jones, and daughter, Willow Smith and she had actress Gabrielle Union on as a guest to talk about a 17-year-old feud that the two had.
For women in the entertainment industry, feuds can be very common. There are cameras everywhere, opportunities, booming talent and there are also up and coming beautiful actresses everywhere.
Everyone just wants their chance to be seen and heard so it can be very easy when you are in that environment to want to compare yourself to every woman that comes your way.
The conversation between Jada and Gabrielle for me was very refreshing and such an eye opener as a woman who does have relationships with other women, because as I sat there and listened to Gabrielle unload her truth and admit to once being a ‘mean girl’ and feeling intimidated by other talented and beautiful women who came her way, I can only think of the countless moments I have felt insecure because I feel like another woman’s light may be shining ‘brighter’ than mine.
During the candid discussion, Gabrielle reveals that she was that girl who would talk smack about other females the moment she felt threatened. She states, “I had an encounter where I was at a club and this woman walks in, you know, hot, LA girl, and I start to feel like I’m shrinking. And I get the attention back on me by talking shit. My mentor AJ Johnson then took me to the side and said, “Now what did you accomplish by doing that?… You now just proved to everybody what low-self esteem you have.”
Both Jada and Gabrielle continue their talk by revealing how common it is for women to do that and Jada also admits that by not calling Gabrielle to talk out the feud, she was engaging in some “petty ass shit.”
As a woman, I just found this whole conversation so enlightening and much needed for every woman to watch in my opinion, because it is so true that as women, we can be envious, petty, and malicious to each other based on our own insecurities.
As someone who has a self-centered personality, I can relate to Gabrielle in always wanting to be the center of attention and then shrinking when I feel like I am being ‘threatened’ in some way. In reality, however, how I feel is simply a result of me not being confident and tapping into my light and also realizing that another woman’s light does not take away from my own.
So how do we fix this? How do we authentically have relationships with women that are genuine and healthy?
Well, the first thing you must do is acknowledge your insecurities and work on YOU first.
You need to actually have a conversation with yourself and actually notice when you are comparing yourself to others or being envious. Like literally, in your head, have a conversation and say to yourself, “Okay, clearly I am comparing right now because I feel insecure at the moment.” I found the moment I began to have honest thoughts like this with myself, is the moment I was on my way to changing and being a woman of power and also acknowledging my faults.
Next, talk about this with your girlfriends!
I admire nothing more than a woman who can talk to me face to face and say, “Girl, look, I have actually been kind of envious of you lately and I want to talk about it.” I think as women we have this secrecy thing where everything with us is low-key.
Low-key shading, low-key hate, and low-key envy. I think what determines a woman’s maturity is when she can talk to another woman about what’s going on with her emotionally. It helps when you can beat insecurities together.
Lastly, only seek relationships with women who are genuine, mature and sincere
Listen, life is too damn short for me to feel uptight and constantly like a girlfriend is low-key pulling me down or doesn’t want to see the best for me. If you notice that you are around toxic women, you need to cut them out of your life immediately. Whether this at work, school, or whatever the interaction. You need to guard your heart and mind from people who are carrying negative vibes with them. When it comes to girl time, you want to feel happy! For your well being be very cautious about who you include in your circle.
I think it is safe to say that collectively as a whole, women can be catty at times because we all want to know that we are ‘enough.’ I find that is what it all boils down to. We never want to feel like we aren’t good enough, successful enough, pretty enough, or whatever it is, so that is where comparison and pettiness come along.
But I just want you to know that you always have been enough and you need to focus on being the best you that you can be in order to thrive when it comes to female relationships.
Relationships with other women do not have to always be negative, uncomfortable, competitive, or tiring. They can be inspiring, happy, funny, loving, caring and supportive and healthy relationships.
And that is what you deserve.
Maintaining healthy relationships with women are possible, it’s all in how you navigate them.