Let's hear it for the ladies doing it for themselves.
We all have that one friend who's a godd*mn mess. She's a sloppy (and frequent) drunk, she can't hold a job, her dating life is a disaster and dealing with her is generally exhausting. We all also have that one friend whose life is just so good: She's secure, confident and has a glow that would otherwise make you jealous, but she's just so nice that you can't even be mad at her for being perfect. We all want to be that girl. Here's how they (and, let's be real, Beyonce) do it.
1. They know their worth. They don't settle for less from anyone be it a man, a boss, or a flaky friend. They make clear standards for how they expect to be treated — and they stick to them.
2. They educate themselves. That doesn't necessarily mean going to an Ivy League school. It just means staying informed on issues that are relevant to their lives, forming an opinion, and keeping an open mind to alternatives.
3. They take responsibility for their own actions. If you f*ck up, you admit it and you take accountability for it. You take actions to change, then you don't do it again. You don't blame your roommate, your boyfriend or the patriarchy that you showed up for work hungover. You just don't show up for work hungover.
4. They make their own money. If you never have to rely on anyone for your income, you're in much more control of your own life. When you're in control of your own life, you make better decisions.
5. They know how to negotiate. Statistically speaking, women tend to settle for less money when negotiating salaries at work than their male colleagues do, often not even asking for anything beyond an employer's initial offer. If you know your worth, you'll ask for it.
6. They take pride in their appearance. They know, however, that looks aren't everything. Like it or not, the way you look affects how others see you, and how others see you affects how you feel about yourself. Being polished, or at the very least putting on clean underwear everyday, will make you feel better about yourself, which will in turn make others feel better about you, too. Sometimes you have to start from the outside and work your way in. Still, you understand that you can have a designer outfit and an awesome haircut, but if you're an idiot and you're rude to the waiter, you are still The Worst.
7. They call their moms. And their dads. And their grandparents. And their sisters. And their brothers. And their kids. Listen, you can always make new friends. You only have one family. You treat them with respect and love, even if for no other reason than you want to stay in their wills. Hopefully, your motivations will be more pure than that, of course, but at least you're still making them happy.
8. They support other women ... but they don't blindly support other women just for the sake of being women. No one else's success is a threat to your own. Women with their sh*t together celebrate the successes of their peers instead of belittling them. That said, if a woman is a serial killer, is she still deserving of the support of "the sisterhood?" Should I high-five Jodi Arias because she has a vagina? No, not really. That doesn't mean I don't want to (she's so entertaining!), it just means that I shouldn't, because she's a murderer. A murderer who got caught.
9. They make their physical, mental and spiritual health a priority. Cheetos are delicious, but they're not dinner. At least not every night. You deserve better and so does your body. Similarly. Keeping Up With The Kardashians may be a fun distractions but sometimes you just need a newspaper. Being stressed may motivate you to get more done but it will also shorten your life and negatively impact your psyche.
10. They nurture their friendships and minimize drama. A supportive network will make you and your besties stronger. If you have a bad day at work or your BFF gets dumped or if you're both just in the mood for sangria, you go out and have at it, not just to have a great time, but also because it can actually save your life someday. They stay out of petty gossip and drama, which is very different from posting passive-aggressive Facebook statuses about how much you hate drama. Dude, life is too short.
11. They balance their work and personal lives. If you devote too much time and energy to either one, the other will suffer and you will be miserable. Or broke. Or both.
12. They maintain a sense of humor. Life can be hard, but life doesn't have to be miserable. Learn to laugh at it and you'll not only be happier, you'll also probably live longer.
13. They're sexually responsible and sexually confident. That means they use protection, they get consent, they only sleep with adults (no Mary Kay Letourneaus here!) and they don't slut-shame others because they're aware that no one's sex life is their business.
14. They know they're not perfect. And they know that's okay. They also know that accepting one's flaws isn't an excuse for not trying to better yourself.
15. They treat others well. Whether it's their boss, their baby brother or their barista, women with their sh*t together are polite, kind and generous to everyone around them, because they know that everyone is going through their own struggles and that they aren't actually above anyone else. (Seriously, if you're rude to the mail room staff or cab drivers, you are the worst.)