So I’m sitting with my wife today and we’re talking over coffee about our friends and how they’re doing lately. One of the things we noticed was that women and men seem to see their friends very differently. Not that we need another reason to create a difference between men and women mind you, because heck, there are plenty of ways they’re different to begin with. But we noticed something really funny…
Some women hate successful women, yet some men praise and aspire to be like successful men.
For example, if Woman A is atractive or pretty in some way; if she’s successful or smart, or has some other quality that Woman B doesn’t have, then Woman A is a complete witch, and deserves the scorn and hatred of Woman B.
Whereas if Man A is attractive or successful or has some talent or skill that Man B doesn’t have, Man B seems more inclined to idolize Man A, and aspire to be like him.
I have no evidence to back this up whatsoever. I have tried to find articles or studies to show this strange anomoly between men and women, and I’ve come up with a whole lot of nothing.
However, what’s the point of talking about this? What’s the big deal anyway?
The point is to allow this example to help us understand ourselves. Because if you’re Man or Woman B, you likely need to consider how this affects your life in a very negative way.
Here’s my take on this: Some women feel threatened by other women who have different, better, or other talents than they do. When this happens, they instinctively turn on these women who have other traits, and look to find ways to distance themselves from them. This could also allow for her to not be compared to other women who she percieves as “better than her,” and prevent her from being let down by others in the process.
On the other hand, men tend to do one of two things: they are either really supportive, and out of some form of admiration aspire to be like men who are successful, or they tend to envy them in an unhealthy way, and as a result, might praise them to save face, but may hate them from within.
See, in my opinion, the reason why we react the way we do to other people is because of the way we see ourselves. Abraham Maslow described this as the Hierarcy of Needs. Specifically, these issues tend to be somewhere between the Love/Belonging Needs and the Esteem Needs.
So depending on the needs that you have at the time, could determine how you respond to people who come your way.
But let’s take it a step further! What if you are one of these people? Is it a good idea to continue down this path?
Since this is a combination of Love/Belonging Needs and Esteem Needs, it seems we need to work on those the most. Here are my suggestions:
1. Consider what you’re telling yourself about yourself in relation to others. What is causing you to want what they have? Think about where that’s coming from, and how that’s affecting your Emotions and Actions.
2. Live your own life, not someone else’s. How much time do you spend thinking about what it would be like to live someone else’s life? If you’re spending more than a few minutes, you’re spending too much time in fantasy land. Live your life and enjoy it.
3. What do you really want? Do you want someone else’s life, or a better version of your own? If you want a better version of your own, stop looking to other’s lives as examples, and start looking at how you can change your own life to have what you want.
Granted, this isn’t therapy. Its your life, you do what you want…but consider how your attitude about others and about your self is affecting how you see yourself, and how its affecting your overall life enjoyment.
What do you think? Has this ever happened to you?