Step 1: Make a note of every time you make an unnecessarily negative remark about yourself or another woman for a whole week.
While there are always legitimate criticisms to make about other human beings, we can all recognize the difference between a valid bone to pick and a superfluous comment about how greasy some bitch’s bangs are or how her face looks like a potato when she smiles. Whether it’s talking about how fat we are because we want to enjoy a few french fries with friends out at a restaurant, or tossing off a comment about how another girl’s vagina is less a sex organ and more one of those Japanese tube hotels that accommodates 10,000 visitors at a time, write that shit down. Put a tally mark somewhere or, even better, summarize the shitty thing you said. Trust me, if you do this for a straight week, you will be pretty shocked at the amount of times you let horrendous shit fly free for absolutely no reason over the course of a normal week. It will not be a pretty picture.
Step 2: Stop yourself and others from making similar comments for the following week.
Once you have established what a large (and unnecessary) amount of time comments like these take up in life, start stopping yourself in the act. You feel that bubbling of girl snark rising somewhere in your esophagus, you push that shit down and start thinking about something else. Within seconds, the desire to be needlessly rude evaporates like so many tiny, ugly molecules of steam. And once you’ve started seeing it in yourself, when a girlfriend starts going off on some random chick for absolutely no reason, or is making egregiously cruel comments about herself, it becomes cringeworthy in its negativity. You are made acutely aware of how bad a look that kind of talk is on anyone, and it’s your job to cut them off at the pass with some positivity (or at least not feed into their maliciousness).
Step 3: Force yourself, at least once a day, to make a nice, sincere comment about yourself and another woman.
With all the time you’ve saved from no longer making cruel comments about the bodies and lives of others and yourself, you can now start making an effort to see what is beautiful, and worthy, and fun in all of these aforementioned women. You can like a purse, or a smile, or something funny that they said, or the way you’re good at listening, or how a girl always manages to style herself in such an original, cute way. It can be anything. It just has to be meaningful and positive. The first step to not seeing all other women as some imagined threat is to realize that all of our awesomeness can exist at the same time, and can enhance one another’s positive qualities. At first it will be a forced activity, just like the previous two steps, but it’s a habit that we’re only too happy to take on, because let’s be honest: being positive, and building one another up instead of creepily chipping away at one another’s psyches, are way better activities. It might be helping other people, but it’s a pretty enriching act for the individual’s soul.
And, regardless of where we are in our lives at this moment, we all deserve to try it. We can’t change everything, but that is something we can change.
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