Girl, Wash Your Face Lie 4: I’m Better Than You

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to know about Girl, Wash Your Face lie 4? Why is it so important for women to stop judging others and to build each other up instead?

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis explores the 20 lies we’re told by society and by ourselves and how to overcome them. Lie 4 is the feeling of, “I’m better than you.” Women judging other women is a hurtful, spiteful impulse; the fact that everyone does it doesn’t make it okay.

Keep reading to learn why lie 4 is detrimental to society and why women should be encouraging each other.

Lie 4: I’m Superior to You

Women all too often tear each other down, gossiping and talking behind each others’ backs, even making fun of other women. This behavior is usually traceable back to insecurities that developed in childhood. In pointing out someone else’s flaws, we somehow think we can diminish our own. This is lie 4.

Judging and Competing Ruins Friendships

Women judging other women is a hurtful, spiteful impulse; the fact that everyone does it doesn’t make it OK. It keeps us from building stronger friendships and from connecting in deeper ways. We need to stop judging others.

The author was once on a plane with a horribly behaved little boy who screamed nonstop. She kept wondering why his mother allowed this behavior. When he was quieted by a bag of candy, Hollis was even more judgmental. Sugar? Rewarding his behavior? But at the baggage carousel, she was struck by the look in the parents’ eyes—overwhelmed and near tears. It hit her that she didn’t know this woman’s story. Perhaps the child had special needs or struggles no one was aware of. Instead of offering help or simply giving this mother the benefit of the doubt, Hollis judged her and found her lacking. 

Overcoming lie 4 means women competing with each other also needs to stop. Instead, we should focus on supporting each other. Hollis experienced this when she joined a group of friends running a race. An avid marathon runner, she focused on being her friends’ support system this time instead of making it about herself. Though it wasn’t easy to sit on the sidelines, she ultimately had an incredible experience cheering on her friends.  She would have missed so much if she’d only been out there for herself.

With her blog and website, Hollis found that the number one thing women ask for advice about is friends — making them and keeping them. Ironically, their judgmental and competitive behavior is keeping many women from building friendships.

True friendship comes with keeping an open mind when you meet someone, looking for commonality instead of differences. Ignore outside factors like hair or clothes, and instead focus on inside factors like heart, character and experience.

Tips on Overcoming the “I’m Better Than You” Feelings of Lie 4

Use these ideas and strategies to help curb the inclination of lie 4 to judge and compete with other women: 

  • Admit that no one is immune. We’ve all judged others. We judge in small ways like rolling our eyes at how someone is dressed. We judge in bigger ways, such as viciously gossiping or writing hateful things on social media. Stop judging others. Remember that you don’t know what kind of life the other person had or how they feel.
  • Know that you don’t necessarily know best. Just because you believe things should be a certain way, it isn’t necessarily true for everyone. Judging makes us feel safer in our own choices. Even if you want to hold someone accountable for their behavior, you can do so in a loving way. Judgment, on the other hand, comes from a place of fear or hate.
  • Surround yourself with non-judgmental friends. If you surround yourself with gossipers, you’ll likely take part. Instead, find a community of women who build each other up.
  • Police your judgmental tendencies: When you find yourself judging someone, force yourself to stop and think of compliments you could pay this person Look for the positives.
  • Deal with your own insecurities: Figure out what’s making you lash out at other women. Acknowledge your own deep well of insecurities. You become a better version of yourself when you understand what makes you tick.
Girl, Wash Your Face Lie 4: I’m Better Than You

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Rachel Hollis's "Girl, Wash Your Face" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Girl, Wash Your Face summary:

  • Why you should accept that life can be messy
  • How seeing that you're in control of your life can help you live more joyfully
  • The 20 lies you might be telling yourself

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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