With Women’s Day on the horizon, it’s a good time to think about what kind of woman you are (if you are one, of course) and if you’re a man, what kind of women you have in your life. Here are some qualities to aspire to, or to encourage the women you love to grow towards:
Balance between giving and receiving
A Real Woman aims for that delicate balance between taking care of herself and taking care of others. It’s a fine line to walk as women are often socialised to put others first, ignoring their own needs, until one day they wake up feeling resentful or like they have nothing left to give. Rather than thinking of it as selfish, it’s about finding the middle ground and being able to identify when you can afford to give (whether that be energy, love, support, time, money or something else) and when you need to take care of yourself first.
Providing support not rescue
Many women are natural caregivers and part of their role in society is to offer support to the people around them. There’s a difference between supporting someone though, and fixing their problems or doing things for them when they’re perfectly capable of doing for themselves. Then we’re just using our energy unnecessarily and taking away the other person’s opportunity to learn and grow. Sometimes we need to leave them to it, with love of course.
A voice that is heard
A Real Woman speaks up, sharing both her thoughts and feelings constructively and appropriately. She also stands up for herself and isn’t afraid to say no when need be. For some women this comes naturally, and for others, it can be learned.
Knowing (and being) who you are
You don’t have to be perfect to be authentic. It’s rather about knowing what you like and don’t like, understanding what you value (which might be different from what someone else does) and doing what feels right to you. The better you know yourself, the easier this becomes, and the more others will respect you.
As you work towards being a Real Woman, be kind to yourself and support other women to grow into their own best selves too. Being a Real Woman also encourages the men around you to step up and become Real Men – but that’s a topic for another day.