We like to think that women are soft, caring nurturing people.

That women support and cheer on their fellow women.

We have this illusion reinforced with television shows such as Sex and the City, Friends and The Gilmour Girls and Hot in Cleveland.

We see it in movies such as Steel Magnolias and Bridesmaids

But the fact of the matter is women are often quietly undermining each other;  sniping and sneering at other women, walking down the street, bitching about their friends to other friends and delighting in others misfortune ( albeit, quietly to ourselves).

We see it with magazines that exalt a movie star one week and then post unflattering pics of the same star the next with nasty headlines.

We seem to take devilish delight in the fall of stars like Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears, snapping up magazines with tales of their latest exploits.

Amanda Foy of The Goddess Imperative wrote a recent blog post asking why we do this to each other and pleading for it to stop.

And then I read this interview with Christiane Northrup and realized that yes, sometimes, some of us undermine each other but we often, we also are the loving, nurturing and caring people we think we are.

I loved the graphic illustration Christiane Northrup uses, of the compliments we give each other being like the placenta, to nourish and support other women.

I had an experience like this today. I was at the doctors surgery getting some results and feeling a little fragile when I walked up to the reception I was greeted with another patient exclaiming “I LOVE your dress! It is just gorgeous.” I had never seen this woman before and the compliment left me feeling ten feet tall and bullet proof.

You see I haven’t worn a dress out of the house for about 15 years. I had got so comfortable in jeans that dresses stopped being part of my routine. Until this summer, when I found a dress in my colors, that I loved. I have worn it around home but not out and about and when the trip to the doctors came up I had planned on changing into jeans but decided “what the hell, its just a quick trip.So that one compliment has boosted my self esteem no end.

Did that woman know what it meant to me? No. Was she just in the moment and voicing her opinion? Yes, and I am so glad she did.

Next time you are out shopping or going about your day and see someone looking gorgeous, or doing something extra nice or if their smile brightens your day, make sure to let them know and lets reclaim the meaning of sisterhood, lets empower and build each other up, one person at a time.

What do you think, are women too hard on other women? Leave a comment below or share your stories of women being nice to you

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