If you’re reading this, chances are, you’re a lady, or lady-adjacent. And, if you’re a lady, you probably know other ladies. Probably, you know lots of other ladies. And maybe you get together with your ladyfriends once a week for a knitting circle where you braid each other’s hair, make daisy chains, compliment one another’s intellects, and skip through fields of pansies holding hands.
But maybe you don’t. Maybe you, like me, have said more than once in your life, “I’m just not really a girl’s girl, you know? I get along better with guys.” Maybe girls scare you, maybe they have skills that are foreign and intimidating like blending eyeshadow to within an inch of its life, or using a round brush in a way that would frighten Bettie Page.
Maybe you grew up with your own personal Regina George lobbing backhanded compliments at you left and right, making you cry in the middle school bathroom. Maybe you’ve just never really felt like a part of the good ol’ girls’ club, and you prefer going to the ladies’ all by your lonesome.
Whatever the reason, if you avoid women, you’re probably missing out on some super-amazing people. People that could be friends, allies, drinking buddies or hey, even lovaahhhhs. The world’s population is at least half female – so that’s like, 3 billion potential people you could be playing Giant Jenga with.
Plus, scientists everywhere say friendship is magic. So without further ado, here are three things that might help you overcome your fear of the XX and get along with girls:
1. Admit that there is nothing wrong with being "girly." (And there’s nothing wrong with not being girly, too.)
There’s a lot of lady-hate out there focused on the frippery of the trappings of the traditional female. Fashion, beauty, mommy blogging – whatever it is, even if you’re not into it, admit to yourself right now that there is nothing inherently wrong with any of it, just like there is nothing inherently wrong with gender-neutral hobbies like stamp-collecting, bird-watching, or playing Connect 4. You can be friends with women and girls who are into stuff that’s different from what you’re into – just like you can be friends with people from different racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. It’s a big, beautiful world out there.
Still, though, it is nice to have friends with shared interests. So, if your only reason for not pursuing girl friends is that you don’t like doing girl stuff (read: traditionally gendered girl stuff), you’re in luck: Because there are literally legions of other girls out there just like you, who aren’t into glitter, Barbie tea parties or wearing pink on Wednesdays.
There are billions of badass babes out there -- surely you can find one or two women who are also into monster truck rallies, MMA fighting or competitive yo-yoing – or whatever else floats your unique and special boat.
2. Take off your judgey pants.
Sure, not all girls judge other girls. There are plenty of magical unicorns out there that interact with other humans on a higher plane. They also probably meditate and wash other people’s feet and host really amazing, nurturing, vegan gluten-free non-GMO potlucks/hug circles. But the rest of us? We put on our judgey pants more often than we’d care to admit.
Letting your judgmental nature off its leash is fun for a while, but it just breeds insecurity and other nasty stuff. So the next time you feel yourself getting judgey (“Gawd, could Gretchen be more fake?”), try instead to find something you like about the person you’re criticizing (“Gee, Gretchen sure is good at working a room.”), and marinate on that for a half-second.
You might find that whatever you dislike about the person is tied to something that bothers you about yourself. Or, it could be that whoever you’re judging is just a really icky person – in that case, just try to think about the fact that they probably love their family just like you do, and are doing the best they can with the tools they have in the world they live in, and move on.
Bonus benefit with this method? It works on all genders. And, if used correctly and consistently, it will probably make you a happier person in the long run. And happy people, not unlike blondes, have more fun!
3. Stop comparing yourself – just let go and stop competing.
We all compare ourselves to other people. We can’t help it – we were raised to compete with one another. We grew up measuring ourselves against others – in real ways (standardized tests, anyone?) and less-real ways (who’s the prettier sister? The good-better-best friend?). But women are socialized to internalize their competitive natures – since we’re not supposed to challenge each other to leg-wrestling matches, sometimes what could have been healthy competition turns into envy laced with guilt, which just feels bad, man.
But what if you just stopped? Stopped comparing, competing, caring? Try letting someone else compare for a change – you just do you. If you do this, then you’re free to just… be. You don’t have to be better, you can just be yourself. And, there’s only one of you, so you’re automatically the best at being yourself.
And when you start acting like yourself, then no one can really be threatened by you – instead, they’ll probably just want to be friends with you. Because you’re awesome! In fact, I want to be your friend. Text me sometime, maybe? We can sit around and braid each other’s hair, and maybe skip through some fields of pansies.
So ladies, save the drama for your mama (on second thought, your mom probably doesn’t want it either), stop worrying and go out there and make some new friends.