As a clinical psychologist, woman, mother, colleague and friend, I often wonder why we fall short as women and fail to support each other in all kinds of little ways. You see, these little things turn out to be big deals. Doing one little thing for a member of the sisterhood can be so meaningful and empowering to another woman.
Women can be very sensitive and observant. The combination of sensitivity and those super-keen observational skills can lead to the wonderful ability to figure out exactly what another woman might need at just the right moment. Now, I am not suggesting that we all become major people pleasers. No, not at all. Instead, I am suggesting that we spread good energy and prop each other up.
In middle school and high school, females do a lot of damage to each other, right? We compete with each other for boys, attention and social status. We ruin each other's reputations and spread dreadful rumors. We gossip endlessly as a way to feel like part of the group. Well, guess what? We are all grown up now and we can, and must, behave differently than we did during our younger years. We need to do some repair work and make it up to each other.
Consider the following as ways we, women, can make each other feel like a million dollars:
1. If you notice that your friend is being left out of the group discussion, ask her what her opinion is? That's right, go ahead and prevent her from feeling excluded.
2. Your co-worker seems to have put extra effort into her outfit; don't assume she knows how good it looks. Assume, instead, that she would love it if you noticed one aspect of her outfit. It costs nothing to make her day. Go ahead and try.
3. A friend has just experienced some success in her life. Perhaps she has a new love, a new job or even a good grade in a course that she is taking. Now, don't be jealous. There is enough good fortune to go around. Let your friend know how proud you are of her. Success is so much more meaningful if it is shared.
4. You've been doing a lot of networking and have made lots of terrific contacts. Take that leap of faith, and share one or more of your contacts with a deserving sister. Her success will make the world a better place and you might just make her day, week or even more.
5. A woman you know seems a little down. Why not bring her something that she likes, just to cheer her up? Think about what she seems to like. A cup of steaming hot coffee or even a link to an article that she might be interested in may just give her a little bit of relief. Go for it.
6. You run into someone unexpectedly in the supermarket, local coffee shop etc. Ask her about her kids. Everyone loves the opportunity to talk about their kids. Just make sure that you have enough time, in this case.
7. Smile, say hello and remember that greeting each other is priceless. We all want to be acknowledged and noticed.
8. Share your boyfriend. Your friend may be lonely. JUST KIDDING HERE. I just wanted to see if you were paying attention!
9. Go ahead and call a friend who you haven't spoken to in months. She will feel sought after and important, you'll see. You will hear the surprise and joy in her voice.
10. If a friend is sick bring her a cup of tea, a box of tissues or a magazine. Send her an email or the latest tip about how to get better. We need each other in sickness and in health, right?