We’re often handed plenty of (very helpful) advice regarding how we should be living our lives: how to land a dream job, how to get over a failed relationship, how to make the most of our summer, etc.
But sometimes, it is important to take a step back and re-evaluate the habits that have been so deeply instilled in us that we hardly notice they’re there.
As women, we are taught many things from a very young age, and as we grow, we learn that not all of them provide for very healthy mentalities.
Maybe life isn’t about finding a husband and settling down; maybe childhood friends don’t always last a lifetime; maybe red lipstick can’t fix everything (or look good on everyone).
Just because some habits are widely and regularly accepted doesn’t always mean they’re good for us. To put it bluntly, there are plenty of things women need to stop doing:
1. Bashing other women
Unfortunately, hating on other women as a means of self-validation and assertion has become not only acceptable, but expected.
Why do we feel the need to cut someone down for doing something different — or better — than us? We need to rid ourselves of the notion that we can only succeed if others fail and that pointing out other womens’ flaws will somehow make us better.
Just because she has cute outfits and put effort into her appearance doesn’t mean she’s conceited and just because your boyfriend liked her Instagram picture doesn’t mean she’s an attention whore.
And whether or not the money she used to buy her outrageously priced purse came from her parents is, quite honestly, none of your business.
Stop hating on other women, whether you know them or not, for what they wear or whom they date. Women have enough bullsh*t to deal with when it comes to defying sexist norms; we shouldn’t have to be on the defense against our own gender.
2. Revolving life around guys
Sure, guys are great, but they aren’t the sole purpose for our existence. Don’t ditch your friend at the bar because your crush is leaving.
Don’t say something to embarrass your friend just to get a few laughs from a guy you want to impress. There are plenty of things you can do with your girlfriends that don’t involve guys; you were not put on this earth to find the perfect man.
Yes, it’s a huge plus if you do, but there are other elements necessary for enjoying your life that don’t involve the opposite sex.
(Also, never trust a girl who says she prefers being friends with guys because they are “less drama.” Male friends are great, but as you grow up and become a woman, you realize how essential female relationships are to your well-being.
Women understand other women in ways that men can’t. If a girl isn’t able to have healthy, nurturing relationships with a handful of girls, something might be wrong.)
3. Making everything about themselves
We all have problems. We’re all in a glass case of emotion. We all “just can’t.”
However, it’s crucial for the sake of your friendships to stop combatting every story with a time you felt the same way, which actually wasn’t at all the same — you just wanted a reason to bring conversation back to you.
Be the kind of friend who listens. Be all there. Shut off any part of your brain that relates what someone says to you to how it aligns with your own experiences. It’s not about you all of the time.
Stop putting friends on the backburner until it’s convenient for you. As we grow up, we have fewer and fewer true friends, so make sure you’re proving how much your genuine friends mean to you. Don’t just drunkenly say it. Prove it.
Too hungover to go to something you promised your friend you would? Think a quick “oops, don’t hate me!” text will suffice? NO. Get the hell up and be a dependable person.
As the old adage goes, friendship isn’t about being there when it’s convenient; it’s about being there when it’s not.
4. Seeking approval from other people, especially via social media
No matter how many times you tell people you don’t care what they think, if you do, they know it. It’s rare for someone who is actually secure to speak these words.
Social media has turned our generation into the “look at me!” era. Sometimes it’s totally cool to post a selfie, like if you do it because you’re proud of the body you worked your ass off to get or because you want to show off the hair you spent 45 minutes curling to make it look Pinterest-perfect.
In fact, there’s even an argument that this exemplifies self-confidence.
However, if your selfies are a way for you to validate your worth by how many likes and retweets you get, it’s a whole different ballgame. Work to feel comfortable and beautiful in your own skin.
We get it: Grad school is really hard. But you know what is really awesome? The fact that you’re in f*cking grad school. We know, you have so many split ends and your nail beds suck.
But you know what doesn’t suck? The fact that you so few problems that you have time to analyze the silly ones that reflect your appearance.
You have a good life. You know how I know this? You’re reading Elite Daily articles (probably on your iPhone, scrolling through with freshly-manicured nails).
Still, it’s human nature to bitch and moan from time to time. Just because there are people starving in other countries doesn’t mean we need permanent smiles plastered to our faces as a nod to how grateful we are.
Let’s take the complaining in moderation — not just for the sake of your friends and family, but for yourself, too. You’ll be amazed at how differently days go when you start focusing more on the good and less on the bad.
You complain more than you think you do. We all do.
6. Holding onto that ex
Oh, you’re really sick of going back to this person and getting hurt repeatedly? Well, you know who is even more tired of it? Your friends. You know, the ones who can see very clearly what you need to be doing yet can’t control when you choose to do the opposite, every time.
So, when you slightly insult them by regularly rebelling against their advice and then call them crying for the millionth time, they have to sit there, listen and bite their tongues to resist the urge to scream, “I TOLD YOU SO!”
It’s insane we believe the bullsh*t that dribbles from our ex’s mouth, yet dismiss the advice from our friends who genuinely love and care about us.
7. Trying to be the “cool girl” or the “ditzy girl”
Stop trying to be any girl other than who you are at your core.
Surprise! If you aren’t genuinely interested in football, a dedicated fan will know. And putting on a baby voice then asking for help with opening a jar doesn’t make you look cute; it makes you look like a useless toddler.
People want to be with other people who are comfortable and confident in their own skin.
8. Thinking emotions are a bad thing
Yes, sometimes the ugly, dramatic crying can be a bit excessive. Sometimes, we irrationally flip out for no reason.
Women tend to be emotional creatures, but we must stop acting like it has to be a negative thing. You know what I find more annoying than girls who are overly sensitive and emotional?
Girls who mask their feelings and put on a straight face, regardless of what they’re feeling. Why? It makes me feel like I’m friends with a robot.
We are allowed to feel and be attuned to our emotions, but there is a time and a place. At the bar after six tequila shots is not one of those times.
Over text message because your boyfriend was 30 minutes late calling you back because he got a flat tire is not one of those times.
Keep your sanity, but don’t ever for a second think that being emotional and letting yourself get upset sometimes is a bad thing. It’s healthy.