Getting women to support each other is going to take a lot more than telling them to. I know this very well as I have dedicated nearly the last 5 years of my life sharing messages, hosting events, and building a sisterhood that encourages women to support each other. It used to be difficult for me to understand why it’s so hard to get women to unite and work together, but I’ve come to realize that there is a much deeper issue at hand. I’ve noticed that everyone seems to clap and agree when they hear or see messages that promote women supporting each other, but when it comes time to take action, movement is slow or non-existent for many. I’ve also picked up that in the women empowerment industry, some people only express the importance of women supporting each other when it benefits them. What they really mean to say is, “Support me, but don’t count on me supporting you or any other woman”, which only creates more hesitation for women to extend themselves to support other women.
Like the saying goes, you can’t truly love others until you love yourself. That is the deeper issue at hand. Those who are genuinely advocating for the unity of women must acknowledge that a lot of women struggle with supporting other women because they are struggling with insecurity, lack of confidence, and low self-esteem. Many of these women also feel unloved and unsupported so to ask them to pour from an empty cup won’t go over well. I have personally found myself having moments when I no longer wanted to continue on my mission to break down barriers and bring women together because I got worn out from giving to women who only wanted to take and never cared to give. Advocating for the unity of women can take a toll when everyone isn’t on the same page.
Telling women to support each other is not enough. At the heart of the issue is the fact that a lot of women need to learn how to love themselves and achieve a level of success that they are confident with. Confident people don’t have a hard time complimenting others. Happy people aren’t bothered by other happy people. Successful people clap when they see others winning. We wouldn’t have to worry about women trying to tear each other down if we were all reaching back to lift each other up. Jealousy and envy would show up less if we were all encouraging and supporting our sisters to win instead of some of us rising to the top with the support of our sisters, but refusing to throw down a ladder because we want to shine alone or prove that we’re better than others.
Whether you are an advocate for women supporting women or just believe that women should support each other more, we all play a part in this movement. Every interaction that you have with another woman matters as she will likely use that interaction as a basis for how she interacts with other women. Many women are carrying hurt and bitterness from past experiences with other women, which causes them to be less likely to grasp the idea that women are stronger together. Based on their own experiences, they can’t see that to be true. I can relate because I’ve been the girl who put up walls to keep other females from getting too close for fear that they would inevitably hurt me like those before them did. I don’t suggest that any women isolate themselves to avoid getting hurt, but I totally get it. To those women currently choosing not to support or build relationships with other women based on past disappointments, don’t punish yourself and everyone else for the actions of a few. On the path to finding healthy and strong relationships, you’re going to come across some not so good ones. That’s life, but you have to keep going. Don’t let your fear of losing be greater than your desire to win.
Instead of continuously shouting that women should support each other, we all need to do a better job of helping women to see and experience for themselves that women can genuinely care about each other and benefit from supporting one another. We all need to be mindful of how we treat each other and make it a point to be our sisters keepers. Not one of us can support all of us, but each of us can support and encourage at least one woman. If we all do our part, we will all win.
“When Women Support Women, We ALL Win!” – Women by Choice Global