My passion is helping women be successful, and I believe that having strong relationships with other women at work is a key to our success. When I speak about my new book New Rules for Women: Revolutionizing the Way Women Work Together, I am often asked, “Haven’t things changed for younger women?” I always answer honestly that I have not studied the dynamics of younger women’s relationships, which is why I was so interested in a recent article in the Huffington Post by writer and college student Lexi Herrick. Herrick does not claim to be reporting research findings, but many of the relationship problems she sees with women her age sound very familiar. Here are some examples from her list of 18 things women need to stop doing to each other:
- “Slut-shaming.” Herrick encourages her readers to let other women make their own decisions and to resist the urge to express disapproval of other women’s sexual choices. She suggests this motto to live by: “Not your vagina, not your business.”
- “Seriously, just saying ‘oh my gosh you’re so skinny’ is just as demeaning as commenting on the weight that a girl has gained. Just don’t.” Herrick says to avoid making any comments about other women’s bodies.
- “Avoiding actual conversation with a woman you’re in a conflict with.” Though telling others about a conflict may be easier than dealing directly with the person we’re upset with, Herrick advocates for going straight to the source and working it out like adults.
- “Being fake to each other.” If you’re having trouble with another woman, Herrick says, “Simply don’t associate with her.” Don’t pretend to be her friend, but make negative comments about her when she isn’t around.
- “Sub-tweeting about each other or crafting any kind of indirect social media post.” Such passive-aggressive behavior may have been acceptable in junior high, but now, Herrick argues, “We are way too old for this sh*t.”