It’s probably someone you don’t know too well—maybe you have mutual friends, or she’s in one of your classes. When you see her or she’s mentioned in conversation, you panic a little on the inside as your mind immediately goes to anything about her that could be at all negative. Step one is seeing these annoying feelings for what they are: girl hate. Girl hate is not hating someone who happens to be a girl, it’s hating someone because we’re told that, as girls, we should hate other girls who are as awesome as or more awesome than ourselves. That there can ever only be ONE cool girl, ONE funny girl, ONE smart girl, etc., in a circle of people. Now that you know that, you can understand how stupid it all is, and differentiate between the girls you hate because you’re told to be jealous and the girls who might actually just not be nice people.
The bad news is that sometimes jealousy is more personal than that, and really does have to do with just you and her. You probably feel a little threatened by her because you two are so similar, but you’re afraid she’s an even better version of you. Here’s the thing—the horribly, eye-rollingly cheesy thing: no one can be a better version of yourself than you. And becoming the best possible example of your you-ness does not include focusing on how much you dislike another person.
Seriously. Look at her. You barely know this girl. She walks a certain way, answers questions in class a certain way, wears stuff no one else could pull off? Look: confidence is not a crime. It does not mean she thinks she’s better than you. I don’t want live in a world where any girl with healthy self-esteem is not cool, or where you have to dislike yourself to be considered a nice person. People not liking themselves seems to be where their hating other people begins. So get ready to reevaluate your opinion of this girl. Break the habits of looking for any little things she has done that could count against her, quit listening to gossip, stop judging her pictures on Facebook, and start giving her the benefit of the doubt.
Trust me—you secretly want to be best friends with this girl. Because she’s like you! That’s where the jealousy comes in, remember? Sometimes we can convince ourselves that pointing out flaws in others makes us feel good, but ultimately, those moments of pleasure are fleeting. In the long run, they get you in the habit of looking for flaws in , including yourself.
She’s probably insecure about herself, too. We’re all going to be insecure no matter what. It sucks, but it’s why we can find friends and things we love to make it easier. Let’s not make it harder for one another or for ourselves.
(Adapted from Tavi Gevinson for Rookie)