By now, you’ve read Ann Friedman’s article on why powerful women make the best friends, right? In it, she writes about how some of us (even feminists) have the sorta gross tendency to avoid making friends with women who seem too cool. Too put together. Too important. Too intimidating.
She uses Kelly Rowland and Beyonce as an example. Kelly is successful, talented, and glamorous…but how does she compare when stacked up next to Beyonce, one of the most successful, talented, and glamorous women in the world? Who would want to be compared to that?
Friedman writes, “When we meet other women who seem happier, more successful, and more confident than we are, it’s all too easy to hate them for it. It means there’s less for us.”
And I get that. Personally, I used to totally avoid women I saw as too smart, confident, and successful. Not because I thought they had something I wanted, necessarily. No, it all goes back to my weird self-esteem. I always assume I’m the dumbest, worst-dressed, least-accomplished, most boring, least-liked, and least-attractive person in the room. I mean, always. So when I was presented with a lady who just seemed together, someone who was smart and funny and (this part is important) confident about it, my first instinct was to run like the wind! Flee! Find a corner where I could huddle in shame!
But then I realized that, of course, the lady friends I already have are extremely smart, accomplished, and awesome. And if they’re so fun to be around, maybe I shouldn’t write off every women who displays this crazy thing called “confidence” in her abilities as someone who would never want to hang around with lame old me. Maybe, instead, I should actually try to be friends with that person and, you know, be a normal human being.
To be honest, I probably really am the least-accomplished person amongst my lady friends. They are incredibly smart and funny and they always dress really well. They have multiple degrees (including PhDs), killer jobs, knowledge of things I can’t even begin to understand, and they do cool things like “start kitten fostering programs” or “join roller derby teams.” And they’re adventurous and hilarious and did I mention really, really well-dressed? I mean, I can’t compete with that. I just sit in front of my laptop all day. But I’m fully convinced that just knowing them makes me a better, more awesome person, and I want to actually try to get to know more awesome women instead of assuming I could never be friends with them.
We should all let our friends build us up, not make us feel worse about ourselves, you know? Smart, accomplished women can introduce us to new things, teach us about stuff we don’t know, and just make us better people. What about you guys? Do you love having an impressive group of powerful lady friends? And do you have the same hangups I do when it comes to meeting confident women? Ugh, self-esteem, you guys!
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