We’ve all been there…sitting with a group of women (likely snacking on Godiva and sipping our favorite wine), bashing a guy who couldn’t commit, a boyfriend who broke up with your best friend, a husband who isn’t “pulling his weight,” or the male species in general. But what does this really accomplish? Not only is this destructive gossip futile in soothing our wounds, but it also has the potential to perpetuate the issues we struggle with in our relationships. Thus, we are wise as women to reflect on the way we speak about men and the impact we may actually be having and the damage we may be causing. Here are the reasons why…
The Problem Goes Unsolved
While it is easy to cope with our pain by criticizing the people who hurt us, it does not serve us as individuals or in our relationships with others. We cannot change the other person or heal ourselves by raking others over the coals. What this contempt does do is lock in resentment in our own hearts, making the pain a heavier burden to carry. Ruminating over the wrongs of others only nurtures bitterness in our hearts.
We Must Be the Change
A prominent topic of conversation among Americans in the most recent election was women’s rights and the truth is that regardless of one’s political party, women have been fighting for respect and the right to be heard for a long time. However we miss an opportunity to be heard when we use our voice to tear men down. Stepping on others is no way to climb to the top. Most of us are familiar with Ghandi’s famous words, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” We must demand respect for ourselves by treating others how we would want to be treated.
We Have the Opportunity to Empower
I was recently browsing in a local bookstore and came across a book discussing “the fatherless generation.” We are in a culture where broken families are all too common. While there are many factors that may contribute to this, we have a responsibility as women to build up the men in our lives in a way that empowers them to fully embrace being a man of integrity in whatever roles they play in life. It is when we are able to relinquish control and believe in the men in our lives that true partnership exists.
We Miss the Opportunity to Grow
When we are busy blaming others for our pain, not only is it futile, but we miss the opportunity to grow in ways that will actually make a difference. Rather when we take responsibility for our pain, we are able to seek healing at the root and act out of the truth about ourselves, rather than react to the painful feelings, setting us up for success in all of our relationships.
No matter what your relationship status might be, it is important that we take a moment to consider the message we are directly or indirectly sending when we engage in contemptuous talk about men. Doing so we fail to solve problems productively, we are poor examples of how we wish to be treated and we miss an opportunity to empower men to ultimately succeed. So the next time you find yourself chatting with a group of girlfriends or spending time with the men in your lives, look for opportunities to be positive and encouraging with your words. You may be surprised by what you find.
Image via Wild Flower Wind