Friday, January 23, 2015

because shine theory is just something you should know

So yesterday I posted about my new love, the Call Your Girlfriend podcast. In listening to the podcast, they kept talking about Shine Theory and I was thinking, what is that? I wanted to fake cultural literacy and tell myself I knew what that was, but I had to be real and consult google.

Basically, Ann (one of the podcast hosts) wrote an article about an idea that Amina (her bff/other podcast host) had. It's so simple.

I don't shine if you don't shine.

You should really just read the article but basically, the idea is that I can't be my best if I'm not helping you be your best. And who is the "you" here? It's other ladies, my peers, my colleagues. The women I'm surrounded by who I should be learning from but I'm busy nitpicking and disliking and bitch eating crackers-ing.

Ann (we're on a first name basis I guess because we're besties in my head) basically says that when we're calling out other women and comparing ourselves to them, we're just shining a light on our own insecurities. Why not surround ourselves with awesome women who can teach us so much, broaden our network of awesomeness, and improve our own worth? We have to get away from the "there's only room at the top for a few" mentality and stop seeing life as a competition and think more about how every woman at the top helps women everywhere. And shouldn't the goal be to surround ourselves with strong, amazing women with long lists of achievements?

Maybe it's me, but this idea and this article really struck me. I see women tearing one another down all the time in real life (and I know I'm guilty of doing it myself). When I reframe it and see the reasons why it's done - that it could be masking an insecurity or done in fear of losing one's status - it just seems so stupid, so futile, and like such a waste. I'm not promising I'll change. There are women in power or who I perceive as higher status who I will continue to nitpick because I may truly not like them. But it really makes me think. I want to surround myself with people who shine, because I want to shine, too.

"Foregoing the internal ranking system in favor of being your best self and helping your girlfriends do the same was a revelation to me." - Ann Friedman, Shine Theory: Why Powerful Women Make the Greatest Friends


  1. I really like the shine theory too. Surrounding ourselves with the people we want to be like, and those who make us better.

  2. I've never heard of this but I like it. I like it A LOT! I feel like especially lately (who am I kidding, I guess I could say that any time) I'm seeing so many people tearing each other down. We're all standing in quicksand in our own lives, we'll sink all on our own, we don't need someone to pull us down. If we all band together and swim towards the top, we all win!

  3. I love that theory. It's so true too. When you're around positive, happy people, you're happier.

  4. I subscribe to the shine theory. I have two hands - one to help myself and one to help someone else. I'm genuinely happiest when someone I love is kicking ass at life. I love seening people shine their light.

    I don't see women tearing each other down personally because I'm not that woman and I don't accept those women in my life. There's a place for them somewhere, but it's not around me.

    I think it is especially important for women to support other women - we are all different and we make different choices, but as a group we only advance together. And we still have a ways to go.

  5. Bitch eating crackers-ing -this!!!Oops! I have been guilty of that. But you know, for justified reasons, of course!!!

    In all seriousness though....I love this shine theory! It is so true!!! When you are around other happy and positive people you sort of feed off of it! I would never tear someone down for being happy and trying to spread a positive message. With so much negativity out there, we could all use a little shine theory!

  6. I hate that women have such a reputation of hating on each other that when someone is truly acting like a you-know-what, if I vent about her, it's taken as "Oh, it's because no females like other females." No, I'm totally not that type of girl! I love other ladies, but if you're a jerk face, I'm going to call you out on it - no matter your gender.

    There are two periods in life where I have noticed the women haters club the most (well, outside of high school): when you're planning your wedding and when you get pregnant. Something about knocking down another lady's plans gets people all holier-than-thou.

  7. VERY well said. and so true. It's taken me a long time to get to the point where I am truly happy for my friends and other women when they succeed in any part of their life, and to stop comparing myself to them. I love it 'I don't shine if you don't shine'!

  8. Very interesting theory. As a student of psychology, I find this fascinating. Thank you for this, as I now want to research it further.

  9. Picking the person that we want to spend the rest of our lives with is an extremely important decision that can have lasting consequences - good or bad. In order to create a beautiful union, it's a good idea to approach the decision spiritually, using your heart and your mind.


I like comments and read them all but I'm not great about responding to them, so please don't be offended. I would much rather visit your blog instead!