The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
We’ve all seen it – the classic scenario where two beautiful, intelligent, driven women find themselves at a major conflict … usually, because of a man. And mind you, it’s rarely a man who’s worth tearing the relationship apart for.
But why do we do this to ourselves? I know it sounds cliché, but imagine if I told a woman one kind thing about her for every negative thing I could have said about someone who rubbed me the wrong way (I don’t consider myself a negative person, but I think we all do it to a degree). Sometimes, I have spoken too quickly when upset and then come to regret it later. And in those moments, I only tear myself down.
I am NOT saying that women should not feel their feelings. Women are passionate, powerful, and eager to speak their minds. That is a strength. I simply wonder what could happen if we are more intentional about its direction. If we get upset with someone and journal how we feel (and maybe crumple up the paper afterwards) instead of shit talking behind her back. Maybe, instead of speaking in the heat of the moment, we say, “Hey. I would love to talk later once I’ve thought over things. I want to be sure about what I’m saying.”
The reason that I am so adamant about this topic is not only because I’ve found myself to be a hurtful gossip topic among “friends,” but more importantly, because gossip is tied tightly to trust. Gossip can be a way to build trust with other people, but it can also be a way to show others not to trust you. When my friends say mean things about others, I wonder if they are also talking behind my back. If they act one way around someone and say something contradictory, who’s to say they’re not doing that with me?
I know that writing this article means I am making a commitment to check my speech more regularly. It is okay to ask for support. It is okay to be aware of how someone’s personality might not always align with yours. It is harmful to make assumptions about people. It is powerful when women choose to uplift each other.