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A few weeks ago I bumped into my friend Tara in the post office. A change of plans for the morning left her headed to the gym with a perfectly made up face and pretty nice hair (although she swears she didn’t do anything besides dry it—the sign of a truly great cut, my friends). In a text a few minutes later, I jokingly stated, “You look WAY too hot to go to the gym. Every woman there will hate you.”

My statement was pretty much true, but I must ask—why are we like this?

Then last week my cousin Lisa shared this article on Facebook, and it made me wonder for the umpteenth time—why do we women make life so difficult for each other?

CattinessNow, perhaps I wonder more than most because I grew up in a relatively sheltered setting, having been homeschooled for about ten of those 13 fundamental years. My three sisters and I did not treat each other cattily. My mom was not catty. But as I would soon find out, cattiness has no age limitations.

That said, as an adult I see that no matter what one’s background, there is something inherently female (note I didn’t say feminine) that makes cattiness a trait specific to our gender. We are called the B word. On some level, we are expected to gossip, backbite, sneer at, and throw members of our sex under the bus.

But why?

As I read and pondered that article, I decided that the root could be nothing more or less than our insecurities. We feel threatened, so we seek to hurt before someone else can hurt us. Or we mock because we know we can’t compete. Or we ignore because of a fear of personal failure.

Seriously? Enough already. We need each other. And we need to respect one another. Your choices may be different than mine, and you may look way better while working out than I do (yes, Tara, that would be you), but does that really require me to demean you and thereby degrade myself?

God knows I do my share of judging, whether in my head or aloud to my husband, poor man. But it needs to stop. I need to give others the benefit of the doubt, and to believe that they are doing the best they know to do.

Rather than judge, I need to befriend.

Rather than let my insecurities dictate my responses, I need to be transparent.

When all of us become transparent, we’ll finally see that we all want the same things anyway. We might go about our lives differently, but deep down we are all the same. And that’s worth embracing and celebrating.