10 Things Every Self-Respecting Woman Deserves

Be a woman who gives these things to herself, and show this respect to other women so they can feel deserving of them too.   

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See her skills objectively
See her as someone who performs precise surgery, handles the plane with accuracy, has the strength to lift concrete blocks, and the clarity to make tough decisions – not only through the lens of ‘a woman who’ does these things.  Observe what she has accomplished – don’t waste her time requiring that she ‘prove it again’ to you.

Celebrate her as a role model
See her as someone to partner with and someone who is paving the way for you, not someone to compete with, be jealous of, or gossip about.  

Respect her boundaries
Honor that when she says ‘no’, she means ‘no’. Believe her when she says she needs your help or needs time alone. Know that she spends a lot of energy making sure nothing falls through the cracks. Treat her as a precious resource. Respect her time. Be appreciative of her efforts. Bring her your best.

Cherish her talents
Appreciate her contributions, knowing that she might undervalue these in herself.  Accept her the way she is now while encouraging her to grow into greater potential. Stop adding to her self scrutiny with messages that box her into being perceived as ‘too aggressive’ or ‘too nice’.  

Allow her to express her feelings
Be aware of your temptation to squelch her feelings because you’re unable to stay present as she shares them.  Know that her DNA sets her up to process and express emotions in order to deal with stress and find meaning in it – her feelings are normal.  Understand her ‘emotionality’ not as an attribute of her personality but as frustration she has built up after repeated attempts in which she wasn’t heard. Show compassion for her imperfections – know that she will mature into managing her feelings.   

Support her vision
Support her desire to impact people and make a difference. Remind her of her power to make a difference in her community, in her organization and in her country with all the ways that a confident woman can take the lead.

Know she is strong in her vulnerability
Make it safe for her to share the places where she hurts. Give her space and avoid foreclosing her opportunity to have her experience from beginning to end so she can grow resilient from it.

Stand up for her
Know that she’s constantly had to step up to create ‘teachable moments’ with people who underestimated her or held unconsciously biased ideas about her possibilities.  Empathize that she might be weary from these extra efforts she puts out everyday.  Speak up in her defense and sing her praises in ways that would make her feel judged had she done it about herself.  

Accept her individuality as a ‘woman’
Keep in mind that ‘women’ have all different kinds of looks, shapes and personality traits yet have been held to narrow standards of beauty over 5000 times a day. Any woman deserves respect to express a look that reflects her authentic self and to act across the spectrum of masculine and feminine energies appropriate to any given situation.

Give her the floor to speak
Offer it in the same proportion that she offers to you. Respect that her point of view is borne of her experiences and knowledge gained through hard work and in life, and don’t dismiss it without consideration.