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I'm Not Okay, You're Perfect: Women Who Admire Too Much

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I think it starts between girls. The pretty one who looks a little too often in the mirror and innocently, at first, wants approval from her friends, asking: "Do you like the color of my eyes?" Or the smart one who want to show her sisters how much she has learned at school. The reactions may vary but a whole culture of disdain for the conceited behavior of girls quickly embeds itself into the psyche of young females and we learn to self deprecate, to put ourselves down and to admire our friends more than ourselves; this gives us what we, in the end, feel is a better deal; friendships and relationships.

So the conversations quickly transform. They become an exchange of power in which power is given away, quickly, as if it's a hot thing, too hot to touch, dropped back and forth into the laps of girls and, later women, like so much radioactive material.

"I like your jacket," or, "I like your shoes," can be a common greeting among young women - a way of playing submissive of saying,"I want to be friends and I'm not conceited." This is code for women and a way in which we decide who we "like" or don't like.

As women grow into their power and realize that they actually want to enjoy their own eye color, intelligence, knowledge base and lives, they wrestle with a level of social strangeness, sometimes losing certain circles, sometimes being considered a little too, well, something.

These self effacing qualities girls learn and later hone to a fine art can carry over into partnerships, business relationships and even marriage. With a societal, cultural norm of women being more attractive when they throw their power into the laps of others, many women can find themselves adrift, floating in river of sharks, armor off, oars lost.

So how do we retrieve our own power while maintaining our friendships and our attractive qualities? Perhaps being a little less quick to throw it away will come in handy over the long run.

Maintaining your ability to trust, love and enjoy yourself while still being supportive of others is a healthier way to live.

Add a Comment4 Comments

I love it! Fantastic comments! I am going to continue with this subject; glad you're interested!

Thanks for your feet on the ground honesty and good feelings about yourself - it takes good energy to create this and the type of energy we need A LOT more of...


November 18, 2009 - 2:32pm
HERWriter Guide

You stopped way short! I was really getting into this subject and bam - you ended it. More please!

I very much agree with the hide-and-seek, give-and-take of these kinds of relationships. Some women almost make it their mantra to put themselves down (physically) and it's hard to have to build them up all the time (and I often wonder if their self-esteem is really low or they just enjoy the pats on the back) and on the other hand, women who brag about their beauty or "hotness" all the time are equally as tiresome and I get turned off and I tune out.

I'm sure there is a happy medium in here somewhere.

My girlfriends are pretty confident, good looking women who don't have many of these issues. Sure, we all have our days where we're not feeling or looking so great but in general we take good care of ourselves and don't need to focus on our looks. Like attracts like.

I am rather turned off by women obsessed with their looks or personas (negatively or positively) or who are very vain that I just fade out of their lives. They are too exhausting and the maintenance is too high. It's not that I'm insensitive to their needs, it's that they forget we too, have our sensitivities and they need to focus outwards more, not inwards. (Same as "people pleasers" - these people are actually more self-absorbed than not, but appear to be the opposite). I propose that many people who claim to be insecure are not - they are in fact the emotional "vampires" that are spoken of in psychology circles. Claims of being very insecure and having low self esteem are actually ploys to garner constant attention and admiration and are rather narcissistic in nature, far more than altruistic. But that's another blog, right?

Oh to be a man sometimes! Can you imagine them comparing their shoes or if one of the guys got Botox or who lost six pounds after the holidays? The brotherhood is surely so much easier than the sisterhood!

I look forward to you writing more about this subject!

November 18, 2009 - 2:13pm

I'm glad you enjoyed this! I appreciate any feedback I get - I think it's an interesting topic to explore among women and I'd be interested in exploring it further. In fact, I think I may do a few more posts along these lines.

Take care.


November 18, 2009 - 1:39pm

Brilliant post, Aimee. There's a lot of food for thought here. Thank you.

November 18, 2009 - 9:58am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.



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