Dr. Gail M. Hayes gives us the 3 Toxic C’s that destroy the possibilities of women working together: comparison, competition, and corruption. As women, many of us have a natural urge to establish our own self-worth based on what other women do or don’t have. And once we begin comparing ourselves to one another, we create an unnecessary rivalry that corrupts any chance of us building a friendship or sisterhood. I don’t know how often complete corruption happens, but social networks sure do make the comparison and competition easy to come by.
In all its dysfunction, social network etiquette tells us to:
- Share only your happy moments with others
- “Like” everyone else’s updates, but never “like” our own
- “Like” someone else’s updates, but not too many of them at the same time
*side eye* Kind of sounds like:
“Pretend that life is always good”
“Praise everyone but yourself”
“Just don’t make anyone feel too good about themselves”
Maybe it’s just me, but this all sounds silly! Why can’t I share my bad days if it’ll help someone else feel hopeful? Why can’t I give myself an extra pat on the back? Why can’t I express how happy I am for you?
I’m a huge proponent of sharing your successes- there’s enough bad news floating around online and on television, so I think it’s always nice to see someone’s good news. But when does celebrating someone begin to foster comparison and competition? Another person’s status update or picture upload should not make you dislike anything about your own life; it should motivate you. People you know from high school or college have gone on to do great things, means that these same things are possible for you too! And if you know them, what’s stopping you from asking for insight? It’s okay to like their status update about getting a new job but it’s not okay to ask them how they found out about the position?
I try to make myself as available to others as possible. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to message me to ask; I’ll tell you whatever I know. Because I know that I don’t lose anything by sharing my experiences with others. My only hope is that as women who are after many of the same things in life, we will start to network and connect with each other more. For every one of us who makes it to the top, there’s another door opening for more of us to enter. There’s already a glass ceiling meant to keep us from elevating to new levels so there’s no need for us to start building walls to keep us from reaching out to each other. We’re not in competition because there’s enough room for all of us to be successful and no one is a threat to you because what God has for you, can’t ever be taken away.