Low self-esteem hidden by ‘confidence’

So today I was watching Red Table Talk, an informal talk show hosted by Jada Pinkett Smith. Today this episode was a conversation between herself and Gabrielle Union. An insightful conversation that to me highlighted how problematic a false sense of self-esteem can be. Self-esteem is such a delicate phenomenon. It can take years to build yet seconds to fall.

I do not know what it is about us females. (Disclaimer: I’m going to generalise heavily). From the conversations I’ve had with my male friends, males are often more easy going. They tend not to hold lifelong grudges against one another, as we (I include myself) females can do over the smallest incident. Yes, I know it does not feel small when it’s personal and she looked at you like that! Sometimes we as females just sense when we feel disliked by another female, which makes us put our guard up.

Sometimes we are correct; not every female will like us. But sometimes we are wrong. But what we tend not to do as well as males, is give our sisters the benefit of the doubt. So instead of thinking this girl is being rude towards me because she did not say hello, or she gave me a dirty look, or I just got this feeling around her. We could make our life far more simple and just have a conversation. It could go three ways… Firstly she could confirm that she doesn’t like you and you could have a conversation regarding it. Secondly she could tell you she honestly has no problem and that what you’re sensing isn’t correct (you never know a friendship may form from this candid conversation). Or thirdly, she could lie to your face because she is so ashamed she’s been holding this grudge against you and she doesn’t even have any valid reason.

As Smith and Union were conversing, I reflected on situations my friends have told me about and situations I have been through myself. Situations in which there is tension between two or more females for one reason or the other. I believe that at some point in our life we compare ourselves to other females, we feel like we have to strive to be better that Mary or when Becky falls to rockbottom that makes us feel happier.

Our self-esteem is as a yo-yo moving up and down dependent upon how others are doing, how others are feeling, how much others ‘have’. This sort of comparison is toxic. This sort of comparison means that we will never be content within ourselves. This comparison prevents us from living our best life abundantly. Talking down on others, only gives you a glimmer of confidence and happiness for a moment, and does more damage to you long-term. By pitting ourself against one another, we make life hard for ourselves, we make ourselves unhappy, and ensure the joy we experience is only temporary.

Dear sisters, please stop giving others females such power over your life! Just breathe for a moment, find a quiet space (as I am currently doing) and reflect. Think about your intentions behind your communication with other females and those grudges you have been holding for some time now. Think about how you got there. Think about what triggers your self-esteem to yo-yo (if it is often changeable). Question why that persons’ approval is so important to you and remove the power they have over you. Question why perceiving yourself to be more important than that person is so important to you. Talk about it! Queens sit around tables and discuss their maximised joint slay. There is room at the table for all of us. At the table there will always be someone who is more extrovert or more intelligent, or has cuter clothes, who has a better job or who is more beautiful. Do not allow you confidence to come from things and ‘likes’ and perceptions or from opinions, your confident must come from within, to all my Christians out there, please allow God to define you.

I’m still learning and I’m still growing, I don’t ever believe these processes stop for any of us. I hope this helps. X

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