Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free.
I do love Paris–with a realistic and honest heart of fervent. Although I do not believe it’s always flowing with fine champagne and caviar, I do have grand visions of morning strolls along the Seine, warm brie slathered richly on a fresh baguette at the corner bakery, and toasts of delicious Bordeaux with the grandeur of the Eiffel tower in view. But, something I do struggle with in La Ville Lumière, is creating strong female friendships in the City of Love.
During many conversations with elegant French women and expatriates, I have been told that French ladies can be competitive and ruthless, manipulative and sneaky, and downright mean. But, this could also describe how women behave anywhere. And are we surprised?
We are raised to be competitive with our gender. We are nervous and fearful that the other women will get the money, the beauty, the man– our man?–, the clients, the job, and the recognition. We have seen the result: Catty behavior, rude comments, toxic gossip, success smackdowns, and a lot of eye rolling.
But, listen. The Lady Code says: there is more than enough for all of us.
Over a decade ago, after many “bless her little heart” superficial relationships, I embarked on a quest to find those of quality. My definition of “quality” included: Encouragement rather than gossip; love instead of resentment; and honesty over deception. It was successful and I was pleasantly surprised to find that quality women do exist everywhere. Simply, you need to become the type of woman that you would love to have as a friend. They will find you.
During this process, I developed my personal “Lady Code,” which has helped me become, and stay aware of, the type of woman and friend that I would like to be and have.
Never sleep with a girlfriends’ significant other (Ex or not).
Don’t name call and never use the following: “Slut,” “Whore” or “Bitch”.
Regardless of a woman’s behavior, whether you know them or not, there is no tolerance for such juvenile name calling. Besides, behind every poorly made decision, there is usually a source of pain.
Don’t knock another woman’s success.
Rather, praise her and encourage her. Use the success of others to motivate and inspire you. Remember, we’re all in this together and there’s more than enough for you.
Don’t judge her decisions.
She’s doing the best she can. Instead, listen to her when she needs an ear, without interruption.
Offer loving feedback when asked.
Be honest and don’t hold back. Give it her straight up as you would like to receive advice, with a very loving heart of compassion. In giving your support and wisdom, try to use your “I” words, instead of “you.” Love, never attack.
Don’t leave her inebriated.
We have all had nights when we’ve had too much to drink. Stay by her side and protect her in this fragile state. She most likely could use a shoulder.
Don’t steal her spotlight.
Believe me, you will have your moment. Praise her, encourage her, and lift her even higher. Be thankful for the amazing and inspiring women you have in your life that serve as wonderful life models. Let others know how wonderful she is. The spotlight will shine on you for being a great friend.
Don’t allow negative body talk.
Sometimes, we can get it into the “Let’s focus on a body part we don’t love and give it a good beatdown… together” pity party. But ladies, please don’t. Establish a rule in your circle that if someone starts, help them return to self-love. Negatively looking at our beautiful and amazing bodies is verbally toxic and serves no one. Keep this in mind: Friends don’t let friends talk bad about their bodies. (tweet it)
Challenge each other to step outside of your comfort zones.
We all can get into life ruts. A good girlfriend will motivate and inspire you to not settle for the status quo, but strive to reach the best version of you. There is often a risk involved to get your mojo flowing again, but be a bold and brazen woman– you have great love and support behind you.
Don’t post unflattering pictures of others on social media.
Just because you look great in a shot, doesn’t mean it needs to go up. If your friend wouldn’t appreciate, don’t do it.
Don’t hoard your friends.
Jealousy of other women who are getting close to your friend is “so high school.” Don’t you think? Instead, celebrate that you have an amazing friend in your life that others see as valuable, too.
Set high intentions for each other.
Instead of secretly hoping that another woman will fail, see her as a huge, brilliant success. In the French Kiss the World Society, each lady does this for each other by setting an intention for each member. Throughout the year, her fellow coterie refuse to see her as any other way than fully embodying it, with passion and courage. It’s amazing how that energy and support can literally change a woman from the inside out.
It’s hard trying to keep up the facade. One vulnerable and warm woman in the room can tear down the walls and charm hundreds. We’re all waiting for permission. Perhaps, you can be the one to set us all free.
I asked my community what “Lady Code” they’d love to see. Here’s what they had to say:
And, if you’re breaking any of the codes, don’t worry. We’re none perfect and we’ve all broken at least one, if not all, of them. The good news: each moment is a chance to recommit to being a lady.
What other “Lady Rules” would you like to add to the list?
With lots of Lady Love,
This is YOUR Time To Transform Your Self Image
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