"When you meet a woman who is intimidatingly witty, stylish, beautiful, and professionally accomplished, befriend her. Surrounding yourself with the best people doesn’t make you look worse by comparison. It makes you better." - Ann Friedman
That's pretty much the gist of this whole entire thing.
It was Ann Friedman (who has an excellent newsletter to which you should subscribe ASAP) who first put Shine Theory on my radar - but it's not her theory. It's her friend Amina's, who Friedman describes as "effortlessly stylish...frighteningly intelligent...and beautiful, too" - just the kind of gal that usually intimidates rather than inspires.
But Amina says, when it comes to the women she surrounds herself with, "I don't shine if you don't shine." Women have a tendency to compete with one another, holding our own gifts and accomplishments up against those we see around us and, often, finding them lacking. But when we support each other, work together, lift each other up and cheer not only our own successes but every win that a friend scores, we all shine a little brighter.