Entrepreneurship is not just about business, it’s about forging connections and building a community. Yet, we often find ourselves hindering our own ability to connect with others. It’s time to reflect on how we might be getting in our own way and blocking the path to meaningful relationships.
In today’s episode Kristen explores the concept of “sister sabotage,” drawing from personal experiences and shedding light on the importance of connection and self-awareness. Kristen has uncovered invaluable insights that have reshaped the way she navigates personal and professional relationships.
Here are a few highlights:
- Entrepreneurship isn’t immune to mean girl behavior – the drama, gossip, and torn friendships that can hinder professional growth.
- We are all guilty of carrying stories that hinder our sense of belonging. These narratives, left unchallenged, can impede personal and professional growth.
- Assumptions about others can be detrimental to our professional relationships. Kristen encourages you to confront the stories you have about people in your circle.
- There’s power in vulnerability. By shedding light on our insecurities and acknowledging our imperfections, we create space for authentic connections to flourish.
- By challenging the stories we tell ourselves, we open the door to new possibilities and create room for genuine connection and understanding.
The stories we carry, the assumptions we make, and the insecurities we harbor can all serve as barriers to authentic connection. Remember, it starts with you – acknowledge your stories, get vulnerable, and build a community where success is rooted in genuine relationships.
The Social Selling Leadership School is OPEN! The SSLS is a 14-week Advanced Leadership Certification program for Network Marketers. This program was designed to give you everything you need to be a confident and transformational coach for the people you serve and help your team get massive results. This is the ONLY Coaching Certification program built specifically for the social selling market. Find out more and join here: https://www.thesocialsellingleadershipschool.com
Thanks for listening! Do you have a question about network marketing? Kristen can help! Drop your question here, and she just might answer it live on the podcast: Kristenboss.com/question
Transcript for Episode #200: Sisterhood Sabotage
Kristen Boss (00:19): You are listening to the Kristen Boss podcast. I’m your host, Kristen Boss. As a bestselling author and performance coach, I’m on a mission to share about sustainable and purposeful approaches to both business and life. Each week I bring relevant topics that I believe are necessary to create a life of purpose, significance and meaning. Entrepreneurship is about so much more than growing your bottom line. It’s about who you are becoming in the process and building a life that is truly extraordinary. Entrepreneurship is really just the beginning.
Kristen Boss (00:56): Hey bosses. Welcome to another episode of the podcast. This week we’re going to be talking about belonging and community and how sometimes we get in our own way of making some really meaningful and profound relationships in our life. Especially I think in the world of business and women in business, I think we all contend to maybe bring stories and that affects how we interact with women we do business with or we see in business. So I’m going to talk about how sometimes we are guilty of sisterhood sabotage. Before we get into it, if you are a regular listener to this podcast, and if you have not yet left a review, can I ask that you please go to our platform, leave a review. I swear I can talk this morning and share why you love this podcast. It would mean so much. It helps improve our reach and share it with a couple friends who might benefit from this podcast.
Kristen Boss (01:53): Alright, so let’s get to it. Let’s talk about sisterhood, sabotage. And the reason why I’m talking about this is I just recently had my own experience with this. It was so fascinating the lessons I learned from it. And my friend and I were talking about it and I was like, you know what? I’m going to turn it into a podcast episode. I know it happens. And also I happen to serve an industry that is 95% female. And in my years of coaching this industry, I cannot tell you how often I see mean girl behavior and just sisterhood, sabotage and conflict and drama and gossip and teams and friendships that are literally torn apart because of how we show up in these relationships. So I want to share with you a story, and I’m going to give you a couple lessons from it. So I was recently away at a mastermind in Cabo and this mastermind.
Kristen Boss (02:55): Anytime you go to a room where you are choosing growth and you’re around other successful people, it could be very, very easy in a moment to have stories about yourself in relation to that room being like, do I have enough to offer? I don’t have anything to offer that room. And I’ll remember when I joined that mastermind a year ago, I was like, I walked in that room and I thought, I have nothing of value to offer anyone in this room. Nobody in here is a network marketer, a social seller, and who am I? And I remember thinking that, and it’s interesting how that unfolded for me for a while. But if you’re listening to this and you’re like, wait, Kristen has thoughts like that too. Yes, we all do, but I’m going to keep going with the story before I unpack this even more.
Kristen Boss (03:41): So we all contend to have stories in relation to how we fit in any room we enter. And I think maybe this is part of a very primal brain where we try to assess the room and figure out the pecking order in order to ensure our own survivor survival, being like, who’s the leader in this room? Am I the leader? How does this peck work out? But we have to be more than just primal caveman creatures. We have to evolve beyond just how our brain likes to interpret our scenarios around us. So I’m in this mastermind, and from this mastermind, we’re in small groups and we are with our small group for six months. And I’m in a small group with other women. And so this recent January, we are kicking off a new small group. So I was going to have a new group of women that I was going to be in for the first time.
Kristen Boss (04:36): We were doing focused small groups and you could choose from five different areas of focus because this mastermind I’m in isn’t just business. It’s like holistically all parts of your life. So finance, health, faith, business and family. I think it was, I know I’m missing relationships, that’s what it is. And we focus on all those things. And you can choose to be in that mastermind just to focus on the area of finance, how to invest and manage your wealth better or just how to grow your business, which is why I like the mastermind so much. So my particular group was a bunch of women where we knew all we wanted talk about each week was our business. And I am in a group, the women I got put with, they are, my gosh, they are powerhouse women. And I’m like, oh, this is going to be amazing, but here’s what happens.
Kristen Boss (05:29): So I am actually a, we call it a pod. I’m a pod facilitator. So I just lead the discussions each week. And so I come in a day early to Cabo and we go to our facilitator training just to make sure we create a great experience and we’re given a list of names of who’s in our pod before we start. And so I was already kind of like, we get to that place where we don’t want change. I had formed relationships. My other pod that I was with for six months, I was like, I don’t want to make new friends, but I’m like, no, it’s good. Meet new people. And so I’m mentally preparing myself and I look at my list and I feel my butt dropped to the ground because there were two names I saw on the list that I had seen, and I had a lot of new members in my pod and they were names I had seen outside of the mastermind.
Kristen Boss (06:20): And oftentimes when we don’t interact with somebody and we just see their social media presence or we just see how they show up in the online space, we create stories that we think fit with what we observe. And some of them I didn’t know. So one, I went to her platform and looked at her and I immediately decided that I didn’t like her, not from a, oh, she’s terrible, and I’m going to bring up my stories here. I struggle with pretty girls. I tend to, because for a long time and in my upbringing, pretty girls in my experience were mean girls. They were girls that picked me apart. I was left out, I was bullied. There was them and there was me. I never saw myself as that because I again was left out.
Kristen Boss (07:19): I was never asked out. I was the one that asked out boys in high school. I was that person where I was like, Hey, they’re like, you can’t ask out boys. I was like, well, I just did. I did it because I couldn’t stand the idea of being alone and somebody not asking me out. So I’m like, well, in order for me to escape that reality, I’ll just ask out a boy so that I’m definitely not alone. Yeah, we’re just unpacking all my childhood high school trauma today. No, but it all centers around the point, and I guarantee you have some high school stories that maybe still play out for you today. So based on those experiences in high school, I made an association in my brain with, you can’t trust pretty girls. They’re just going to stab you in the back or they’re selfish or they’ll bully you.
Kristen Boss (08:09): Pretty girls are mean girls until proven otherwise. It’s like guilty until proven innocent, I think was how my brain had interpreted this for a long time. And so I always felt really insecure around pretty girls. And this continued slowly into business circles where it wasn’t just pretty girls, it was then girls that women, now women that made more money than me. So then it became rich girls are mean girls, rich, pretty girls are even worse girls. And so I had all these negative associations and I was in a business circle a number of years ago where sadly that was the reality. And there was a lot of mean girl us versus very cliquey behavior. And I’m like, my gosh, and I’m turning 39 this year, and I’m like, how is there still cliques? How is there still mean moms? How are there still mean girls?
Kristen Boss (09:08): I don’t even understand. It catches me off guard every time. And there are mean girls, and I’ve had to share this with my daughter who navigated her first mean girl in kindergarten last year. And I was like, oh my God, it starts now mean girls now. And I’ve had to navigate that with my daughter about what is kindness? What is a friend? A friend is a friend every day, not just on some days. And my daughter would really want this approval from this one little girl. And she would come home and say, well, I’m not going to say this little girl’s name to protect her, but she’s like, well, this person was nice to me today. I was like, no, Colette, your friends are nice to you every day. Friends are friends no matter what. And so we’ve had to talk about that and talk about, and I asked her, I said, Colette, why do you want to be her friend so much?
Kristen Boss (09:56): She’s like, oh, because she’s really pretty and she has long dark hair. And I was like, where is she getting this? And Colette and I have been working a lot on what is inner beauty and what actually matters and what’s a beautiful character. And I’ve had to tell my daughter like, Hey, Colette, there’s always going to be mean girls in life, even at mommy’s age. And she was just shocked. She’s like, there’s mean girls for you, mama. I was like, oh yeah, baby. There’s mean girls. And I am not proud. But I think that I had a season of mean girl, and I think I’m processing this out loud on a podcast. And you know what? I’ve always promised to be transparent and vulnerable about my growth. And when I look back three years ago when I was in a certain mastermind or in that group, I was the highest earner and I felt like the top girl for the first time in my life.
Kristen Boss (11:01): The girl that was constantly seeking attention and validation in high school was finally getting it in her thirties and in a room where people gave you a lot of admiration and like, oh, wow. And all that. And I think I let it get to my head. I hate saying that. I feel sick even thinking about that. And I have since a apologized to a few people where I’m like, Hey, you know what? I don’t think I was kind there and I’m sorry, but I think there was that part of me from high school that was like, oh, I’m finally getting my moment. I am the top girl now. I’m the girl that everyone wants to be gag gross. But hey, I learned some lessons there and I’m really glad I left that environment because that environment encouraged that type of behavior. I was under a leader who was that person.
Kristen Boss (11:57): And so guys, you do become the five people you hang around most. And the people in that room, it was that. It was cliquey. It was all about what kind of purse you had and how much you made and what you looked like and all of those things. And there was definitely a hierarchy and all of that. And so I left and I’m glad, I’m really glad I did, and I had some lessons. So fast forward, here I am, I get this list and I see the names on the list. And one of the girls happened to be from that kind of that same, we had moved in similar circles, but I didn’t know her personally, but I automatically made her guilty by association. I’m like, I left that circle and she represents that circle and therefore she’s guilty. And so I was creating stories about these women I hadn’t even started a conversation with, but what was happening was, and I saw it happening and I’m noticing the thoughts all creeping up and I’m looking at it.
Kristen Boss (12:59): There was a couple, I was just really excited to get to know them, but I was unsure. I was like, I don’t know. So here I am working, working through my stories as I see the names on a piece of paper and I’m hesitant. And then towards the end of the trip I decide to, it’s not that I decide, we have this thing, a new meet and greet where it’s announced who’s in pod, and there was a beach party and it was like this beautiful party with all these tables set up, and the plan was to go down to the beach and you would sit at lunch with your new pod to get to know people. So there I am, I’m kind of nervous where we go down to the beach, it’s beautifully set up. We were at the montage in Cabo, and if you ever could do that on your bucket list, highly recommend.
Kristen Boss (13:48): So we’re at the beach party and I’m flagging down the girls being like, Hey, I’m over here. I’m over here. And we all sit down and we’re doing small talk and we have this structure for what’s important to us, sharing about our families, sharing about our business, getting to know each other so that we can really have a strong six months together, and we’re getting towards the end of our time. And suddenly I say out loud, I say, all right, I got to clear the air. I got to say this, and I’m not sure what compelled me to do this, but I did it. And I said, all right.
Kristen Boss (14:23): I got to be honest. When I looked at this piece of paper and I saw everyone’s names, I was really triggered, and a lot of feelings came up for me. And I’m saying this to, there’s eight women around this table. Some I knew kind of and some I didn’t know at all. And I was like, I looked at this list and I was really triggered, and a lot of feelings of inadequacy and insecurity came up for me, and I want to share with you why. And I pointed to two of the women that were most triggering on there. I said, one gal, I said her name. I said, girl, I didn’t even know you. I just went to your Instagram and I just decided because you’re so hot that you must be mean and I didn’t like you. And I was like, you are stunning. You are a level 10 hot. And immediately she responded with, she’s like, wow. She’s like, you thought that? I was like, yeah, I thought you were mean. And then she chimes in. She’s like, I was bullied a lot in high school. I was bullied for my red hair and my freckles.
Kristen Boss (15:33): And I told the girls, I said, pretty girls are mean girls for me, and clearly this is a story I still need healing in. And she said, oh man, I have the same story. Girls. Girls bullied me, and that was mean girls for me. So here she is telling her story that she got bullied. And I’m like, oh my gosh, wait. She got bullied. And then she looks across the table and she points at another gal. She’s like, I saw you on the airplane coming here, and I thought you were freaking hot. She’s like, oh, really? And she’s like, oh, you too. And then I say that to one person, and then I looked to the girl to my right, and I said, and you know what? I was really triggered by you being on my list because I felt really unsafe with you because you and I had moved in similar circles and I had assumed you were everybody that I left.
Kristen Boss (16:23): And I felt like my old world was coming into this safe place and that you were going to make this a less safe experience for me. And she’s like, oh my gosh, do you still feel that way? And the answer was no, because just the day before I decided to strike up a conversation with her at the pool, and I’m like, you know what, Kristen, get over your dang self and just ask her about her business. Talk with her a little bit, get to know her. And we kind of shared about our experiences, and I was like, oh my gosh, she’s a smart gal. And she decided to leave too on her own accord for the same reasons. And so I told her, I was like, no, I don’t feel that way at all. Now I got to know you at the pool. And I kind of learned how wrong I was about my opinion.
Kristen Boss (17:02): She’s like, oh, good, I’m really glad. And then I thought we had aired it all out. And then all of a sudden the gal that was sitting immediately to my right, she’s like, well, since we’re confessing, she’s like, I, Kristen, I thought you didn’t like me. I was like, what? Why would you think that? She’s like, I don’t know. I just, because she was in the room with me, she was a pod facilitator before that. And she’s like, I saw your face when you looked at the list of names and I saw your face fall. And I was convinced it was because of me that you didn’t like me. I was like, what? Why? I was like, no. If anything, I saw your name when I was relieved. But here, the gal next to me had seen my face and internalized it as like, Kristen doesn’t want me, she doesn’t like me, doesn’t want me.
Kristen Boss (17:56): And she was living out her reality of that. I was like, oh my gosh. I said, no, I’m so glad you’re here. And I gave her a hug. I was like, no, I’m so glad you’re here. I was like, and honestly, I’m glad you’re all here now. And then she’s like, oh. Then a gal to my left was like, well, now that she mentioned it, I felt the same way. And she’s like, I didn’t think you liked me, Kristen. I was like, why would you think I didn’t like you? And I was like, was it something I did? And she’s like, no, I just, you’re just quiet. Sometimes you’re loud with others quiet with me. I just wasn’t sure, but, but I was really determined that I was going to win you over and be your friend. And I was like, what? No. I was like, no, I’m so excited.
Kristen Boss (18:40): She’s, I dunno why I had that story. So two women, this is how fascinating. In a table of eight, I had a story about two women and they had their own stories, and then two other women had stories about me, and we aired it out. And I will tell you, we laughed. We all got so honest about our insecurities and we realized we all had stories that had they not been aired out, that would’ve absolutely kept us from becoming friends. And because that got cleaned up so fast, we’re in a text thread together, and I have already, I’m in the middle of launching something and I’m just troubleshooting with these girls. I’m like, Hey. And they’re like, oh, hey, try this. This is what really worked for me. And one of them called me and she’s doing a keynote and she’s like, Hey, can I ask you a couple questions about selling from stage?
Kristen Boss (19:34): I’m like, girl, call me. Did a 15 minute call with her. And I was like, dude, tell me how it goes. Let’s celebrate a multi six figure launch for you. I went from thinking there was mean girls who didn’t care to they’re kind girls with their own stories and they became fast friends because I did something crazy airing out a story. I’m like, I just got to air this out and I know it’s not true. And I let them see my insecurity and be like, Hey, I have this insecurity and I think I just need to air it out because once I air it out, it will lose its power. Because I notice when we hold things in secret and when we keep it from others, we keep giving the story power. And here’s the problem is when we have an unchecked story, which is most often a lie, we end up looking for evidence of how that story is true.
Kristen Boss (20:27): We analyze, we hyper lyze someone’s behavior and we make that be like, see, see, that’s totally evidence that they think this of me, or this is evidence of why I can’t trust them or this is evidence. And man, it just like it broke open our small group to where now I feel like I truly feel like I can call any of these women in the middle of the night and they would pick up and I would do the same for them and all because I had stories that sabotaged that I had no idea. And so what I would ask you to do is you might have stories. We all have stories about belonging. Belonging to a group, belonging to a company, belonging in friendship circles, belonging in a new place, and be mindful of your stories that are getting in the way of you belonging and experiencing true community with people.
Kristen Boss (21:24): That is what will destroy friendships is when we have these stories that we don’t challenge. We don’t pause, and we’re like, is that true? Could I be wrong here? We don’t air it out. We don’t seek to clear it. We hear the story, we believe it as truth. We act from that story and then we end up creating our own realities. I’m like, oh my gosh, what would’ve happened had I kept my mouth shut? We all would’ve been very guarded. I know for a fact I wouldn’t have talked to my friend yesterday about her keynote, and I wouldn’t have given her the ideas, and I wouldn’t have called my other friend and been like, Hey, what are your thoughts on this? Or the gal who thought I hated her, she wouldn’t have given, I mean, maybe she would’ve given me her stellar advice, but she may have been more guarded around it.
Kristen Boss (22:10): So check your stories, friends, especially with your teams, with your leaders. Don’t assume that you know what someone thinks about you. Don’t assume someone’s story. For me, when I saw that one girl and I went to her Instagram, I was like, oh my God, she’s hot, therefore she’s mean. And then I actually told her, Hey, I totally am insecure around you. I think you’re mean. I think you’re actually really hot. And then she ends up telling me, Hey, I actually got bullied a lot in high school and I was able to say, oh my gosh, I did too. And we immediately had a bond with each other and I was able to appreciate her and see her in a new lens and not see her beauty as a threat, but see it as something truly significant. And I just got to know her more and ask more questions.
Kristen Boss (22:54): And I’m like, wow, I want to be her friend. So pretty girls aren’t mean girls, not always. It’s about the heart and the character and the conversation. So I would encourage you if there is somebody you have a story around that maybe it’s keeping you from being in real relationship with him. Do the courageous thing and get vulnerable and say, you know what? Maybe I’m way off base here, but I have this story I’m telling myself about you. Am I wrong here? And what we learned at that table that day, at lunch on the beach in Cabo, we all had a story. Every single person had a story. And once we aired it out, like truth came out, and then we were able to have real relationships. So I want to encourage you, get to the truth, have courageous, vulnerable conversations. And it starts with you.
Kristen Boss (23:43): It starts with you. It starts with you saying, I’m feeling inadequate and insecure here because the story I’m telling myself is this. And Brene Brown talks about this. Remember how we tend to live in our stories unless we just speak it out and say, okay, I’m really pissed here because I’m watching you do this. And as I’m observing you doing this, the story I’m telling myself about your behavior is that you don’t care about me, so therefore I feel mad. Give you an example with marriage. Maybe you asked your spouse to take out the trash and it hasn’t been. And maybe you asked three hours ago, and this is something I had to learn in my marriage, if I want something done in a specific time and it’s that bothersome to me, do it myself. But if I ask my husband, take out the trash, I know if he says yes for years, I thought yes meant he’s going to do it right away when I tell him.
Kristen Boss (24:38): But it took me years to realize that yes, I’m going to take it out eventually on my own timeline, and then I would be this nag being like, are you going to take out the trash? Going to take out the trash? And in his mind, he’s like, yes, I’m taking out the trash on my own time. So then I remember starting to ask nuance questions like, Hey babe, can you take out the trash? And he’s like, yeah. I was like, do you think you can do it by dinner? And if he’s like, no, but I can do it by the end of the night. Then if it’s like, okay, if it’s that bothersome to me and I can’t wait until the end of the night, I’m going to do it myself, otherwise I get over myself and I wait until the end of the night.
Kristen Boss (25:11): But here’s what happened. This is where crucial conversations and stories matter. It’s if we leave stories unchecked. So let’s say, Hey babe, can you take out the trash? And for three hours you pass by a full trash. Every time you open up the drawer, you feel more rage. You’re like, my God, I cannot compact this trash anymore. It smells, I’m annoyed. And then you interpret the three hours of the trash not being taken out is like, my husband doesn’t even listen to me. He doesn’t even care. He doesn’t do anything around the house of no hub to me. And now this story we’re telling ourself is filling us with rage. And then as I walk by him or now my responses to him are short. I’m like, nah, well, whatever you want. Right? Because I had an unchecked story, which what I actually did years ago was I was like, Hey, I’m finding myself really annoyed and I keep bugging you about this.
Kristen Boss (26:03): What’s this about? Because the story I’m telling myself is that you don’t care. And then he was like, well, that’s not true. Here’s what’s actually happening. So notice stories unchecked can really hurt relationships, stories that we tell ourselves, even stories that you have gathered facts for. If you had asked me, I would’ve sat on a mountain of evidence like, here’s evidence for why my husband doesn’t listen to me see exhibit A trash sitting for three hours. No, not true. It means I actually needed to engage in a conversation with my husband and tell him, here’s how I’m interpreting this behavior. Am I wrong? And he is like, yeah, you’re wrong. Here’s how I do things, and here’s what I mean when respond to you. And so we had to find this better means of communication so that trash never became a point of contingency of contention in our marriage. And it’s funny now, it’s just not even a thing, but the things you learn in marriage, the things you learn in relationships, the things you learn in friendships, ask yourself, what conversation do I know I need to have with somebody today? Because I’m not in relationship or I’m not feeling a sense of belonging, or I’m not in community because of the story I’m telling myself. When we do this, I believe we can stop the sisterhood sabotage that I see happen so often in life and in business. So go
Kristen Boss (27:21): Uncheck your stories, be vulnerable and talk to someone. We’ll catch you in the next episode. That’s a wrap for today’s episode. Listen, if you love what you heard here today, I would love for you to leave a real quick rating and a review. This helps the show get discovered by new people. Be sure to take a screenshot of today’s episode and shout us out on Instagram. We’ll shout you right back out. If you’d like to find additional resources or discover how to work with me, head to www.kristenboss.com.