Why do women compete and compare instead of connecting?

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Tips to having healthier and wiser relationships, personally and professionally

On Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 rolling out and Dr. Nicole LaBeach co-hosted a live Twitter chat with followers to discuss female-to-female relationships. We addressed a range of questions including the basis for the competition and how to communicate better so it’s a win-win for all.

Check out some of the questions and the advice provided by success strategist, Dr. Nicole.

@KizzyKingston: Why do women compete with one another?
@OneStopCoach: Where would you say the angst between women originates?

@ASKdrnicole: Some of it is we’ve been taught to try and elevate ourselves to win. Socially, many of us have been taught the way to be recognized, on the job or with a potential mate, is to separate ourselves from other women with villainy and creating a competitive space versus a cooperate, collaborative space.

@TheVbarLady: Why is it we tend to forget someone helped us to the top [but] we don’t reach back to help?

@ASKdrnicole: Sometimes the intention was just to receive help. We have to be clear. There are times when people decide their intention is not reciprocation; their intention is to get help or a boost. They are not thinking, “Who has helped us,” or how to help other people.

Some people offer help. You may think there’s a negotiated agreement that if you potentially help someone they will help you if you need them. It’s unfortunate because it may not be their negotiated agreement.

@TheVbarLady: If we are Believers, why do we think helping the next lady will affect our money? God owns it all.

@ASKdrnicole: You are asking for people to lead with their faith; competition comes from insecurity. When it is not a healthy competition that competitive edge stems from a sense of lowered self-worth and a sense of insecurity

They are really not thinking about the surplus that faith provides. There is enough for everyone. They are thinking from a realm “I feel better about me if you are seen as less than me.” “I have to assert myself to make you less than because there is only so much to go around.” That is a not a faith paradigm, but an insecurity paradigm.

@FrontPageFirm: Share tips on how to navigate a relationship and feel less threatened by a “confident” woman.

1. Know yourself. Self-management is the primary way of dealing with competition.
2. Know the power you have to minimize competition.There are things you can choose not to engage in.
3. Fight that temptation to fight back or confront the person.
4. Accept they probably cannot be supportive to you.
5. Work on sharing credit for accomplishments. Compliment that person. Remove yourself from cutting them down. You don’t want to give the competition momentum. If you feed into it, it substantiates “we have a legitimate exchange.”
6. Try not to gossip. Take the high road. Competition is like sparring in tennis. The person shoots something out there to see if it lands. If you don’t give it a place to land, chances are they will choose another person to have that exchange with. When you gossip, you give that competition room.
7. Keep the relationship friendly and professional.
8. If you feel threatened because they may be backstabbing you or behind closed doors cutting you down, be as present as you can be. Be present in meetings where they are painting the full picture. Find an advocate who can speak for you when those conversations are speaking against you. Especially when the advocate has more power than that person.
9. If the opportunity presents itself, see if you can navigate an agreement with the person to see what this relationship needs to be and what you need to do to make it a win-win. Ask the questions, “What are the expectations we have of each other when we are exchanging information or have contact with peers in regards to one another, [and] in regards to our boss.” “When we are behind closed doors, what can I expect from you and what you can expect from me?”
10. Make the ground rules clear on how you are going to work together.

@OneStopCoach: How do you move beyond networking to genuine relationship building?

@ASKdrnicole: When you approach an encounter thinking about what you can give, versus what you can get, it becomes disarming. So many people are networking to get something, but if you come with a spirit of service, it gives others an opportunity to connect with your genuine intention and makes it easer for both sides to move beyond just exchanging information.

@OneStopCoach: No one likes to be hit on for a hook up, so how do you get people to believe in you?

@ASKdrnicole: References may be old school but they never hurt. The ability to pull people into your experience where there is little risk for them to participate but a high return for them makes it a win-win. Don’t minimize the beauty of offering something at no charge for a limited amount of time. The less the person has to pay to experience your expertise, they will be more willing to engage you.

@Sistarazzi: Taking into account the portrayal of women and female-to-female relationships on TV, particularly reality TV, does our consumption of media affect how we interact with one another?

@ASKdrnicole: It does based on consumption. Our bigger issue is if it mirrors our lives. Like it or not, whether we want to own it, much of our self-worth is connected to the opinion of our friends and their approval. We go where we feel affirmation, encouragement and support. If everyday life occurrences are brutal, feel unsafe, and feel like there’s never a resolve to conflict, we won’t feel acceptance. We will try and one-up each other and buy a pair of shoes more expensive than hers or try to be better than her. It causes damage.

When we see it so much on television, we may believe that is what relationships have come to. If you have strong relationships with women, simple competition, and there’s no jealously, discontent, and it’s not complex but the motivating kind, when you have that in real life, you are able to look at reality TV and say that is so ridiculous, that is not reality, because you have a compass.

If your reality mirrors what you see on television, it reinforces it is real. It causes pain. We all need a safe space just to be who we are. That safe space is often found in the realism of girlfriend friendships.

@Sistarazzi: Where do we start with the healing?

@ASKdrnicole: Be cautious about criticism because criticism is not a passive thing. It has energy, great energy. And the more we criticize each other as women, the more that serves to diminish our self-image, self-worth and even what we think we can achieve. When we say to a woman “You go girl,” and in another conversation, we say to her “I don’t know how you are going to achieve that because you never were that smart in high school,” the compliment and the criticism comes out of the mouth of the same person but there’s different energy. You’re telling her, “You can’t to do it”, ”I don’t think you can and I have critical evidence that proves my point.” The more we manage our seeds of criticism, the less they will grow to make us competitive.

When we go put on our new clothes, we want people to see the effort that we made. We have to be able to give what we desire.

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