You heard of the movie Romeo Must Die? I have but never saw it. The title sticks and so I want to replace it with you 5 Things Girls Do That Must Die. Why? you may ask.

Well, for about 32 years, I’ve been a girl (chuckles to myself). I’ve mastered the fine art of crying to get my way, batting my eyes to get my way, giving people the cold shoulder to get my way, and being sexy to get my way. Manipulation is the purest sort has been a gift in my life, and likely yours, if you cared to admit it. Afterall, we’re all groomed to use a little bit of this and that to help us get ahead. Of course, boys know this too and we’ve just become a world of people shifting and moving in a game of whose manipulation tactics will work. (Disagree in the comments.)

With this knowledge, I’ve seen my sistergirls try some things that they think will work to their advantage, and that may work to an extent, but that ultimately lead to their demise. Here’s five of them:

Being competitive to the extent that they don’t see the opportunity to learn from those they feel threatened by. The feeling of inadequacy, in whatever area its borne from, seems to make girls think that backstabbing, bad mouthing, and hateration will gain them friends and backers in a game that really doesn’t make sense. Instead, embracing the exemplary lessons from a seeming competitor may actually help you, as being undercutting rarely does.

Example: I couldn’t STAND this one girl. She was everything that I was not. Her cheerfulness even got on my nerves. Then, one day, while discussing some other deep seated issues about SOMETHING else, I realized that those issues, having been unresolved, were the reasons I didn’t care for her. She didn’t have to change. I did. Thankfully, I hadn’t been in the habit of vocal haterade, and so the relationship and growing opportunity stayed in tact.

Treating your sistergirls the same as you do your romantic partners but dismissing them a whole lot faster. There is nothing worst to me and that sends me running more than an over possessive woman. I don’t tolerate it from a man so why would a girl think its okay to sink the claws in? That’s some scary stuff and it’s just plain weird. Yet, in an effort to control the people around them, women do it all the time. It begs the question, if you do this to me and I’m your friend, how do you behave in your romantic relationships? Lord. Have. Mercy. *wipes brow* On the flip, this same woman will get upset over a very small slight and in the manipulative “I’m never going to speak to you again” try to guilt another woman into begging forgiveness and eternal indebtedness. All at the same time their boyfriend is misbehaving and yet held in the beloved bosom position.

EXAMPLE: Once, I had a friend who was upset because I didn’t spend “enough time” with her and who wanted to punish me by dismissing me as her friend. As if that wasn’t weird enough, at the same time, she was involved with an abusive boyfriend. Huh? Okay.

Don’t do that. Reassign those roles to who they should belong to. If a relationship is healthy, keep it. If it is not, don’t keep it. If you are unhappy with one part of your life, don’t transfer your lack of control in one area onto an otherwise healthy relationship, sabotaging it. Your girl may not be your enemy.

Spending for comfort. Just because you may (or may not) have the money doesn’t mean you have to spend it. When you feel the urge to shop, have you noticed any particular triggers that sent you into that? Shopping isn’t wrong but shopping when there is no need can send you into debt and worst, an addiction. Shopping is not the solution.

Example: I am a recovering shopaholic. If fashion blogging existed at that time, I would be the most popular fashion blogger on the planet. I shopped every DAY of my life, multiple times a day and didn’t feel complete if I didn’t have every little thing I wanted. Afterall, I did have a good job, a nice apartment and a nice car so I needed to dress the part, right? Wrong. I was also severely depressed at the time and going deeper into debt, often being late on rent, car payments, and insurance in order to support my spending habits.

Heal what’s going in inside. Whatever emptiness you feel shopping is helping IS NOT. Kill impulse buys by giving yourself until the end of the week to purchase an item. If you still want it after some time thinking it over, get it. Otherwise leave it on the shelf, and go for a walk.

Thinking bad attitudes equals strength. That is the biggest lie ever told. I used to feel this way, thinking the mean sorority girls were the biggest and baddest and that tough hood chicks who would cut a dude down or buck authority were tough and to be feared. Actually, while a bad attitude definitely makes folks bend to keep you cool, being controlled by a bad attitude is the most obvious sign of weakness there is. Bad girls cry at night. Ask me how I know.

Example: Hi, my name is Jasmine and I’m 21. Don’t even THINK sideways because my words will slice you from ear to ear like Tupac did Bernie Mac in Above The Rim. You wanna take this outside? Ok’den. Believe it or not, I was known for my bad attitude. I feared no one, but it all was a way to keep from being further abused as I had been physically abused throughout my teen years. It was about this time, I indulged in shopping profusely…and crying even more. But I’d still want to cut you if I caught you slipping.

Sistergirl, if people know you as being the baddest *****, it doesn’t do you any good in the long run. Yes, you may have “respect” but do you even respect yourself? Let’s be really real.

Thinking that grooming is the only way to invest in oneself. Yeah, girl, you look good but what about your failing business? How is it that you are willing to pay $100-1,000s for hair but you think paying $150 for a continuing education conference is frivolous? Your pedicure and massage is nice but your logo could stand to be refined? Your shoes are amazing but you have no inventory of product to sell? Something is wrong and in this case, it’s priorities.

Example: In reading Beautilicious Jeanyne M. Raines talks about the Twinkie theorem. It basically says, if you want to have a Twinkie you’ll dig in your couch and pull together funds to make it possible to purchase it. In the same vein, if you really want to travel, you’ll do what you have to to purchase fare for your travel. As this applies to your business, do your priorities make you do what you must (if you have a strict budget) including skipping the hair appointment and doing it yourself every other month to reallocate funds on your off months to investing in the growth of your business (or savings for that natter). Your financial growth is an investment. Re-mem-ber that.

Defining self by things and accomplishments. You’ve done fabulous things. I mean really awesome noteworthy things. You finished school, got a degree, got married and had two beautiful children. You even have an amazing home in the burbs with a luxury car to match. Its perfect! You did that! All is great until it isn’t. Then self-doubt and feelings unworthiness creep in. Never may that happen!

Example: To the outside, I was what my peers thought was like Joan on Girlfriends. I had it all and I thought I was everything because of it. It was cool, until the market crashed and jobs and money became less than existent (if that’s even possible). What came down in the crash was my pride, self-esteem, and belief in myself. I had defined my life by things.

To make it worst, I had a series of failed relationships, a broken engagement and by 30–the magic age when I was supposed to have accomplished a six-figure income, a fine home, a husband and kids–I had NONE of those things. In fact, I was broke, living with my mom, dealing with a crazy dude I’d met on Twitter while recovering from a relationship with crazy dude that I’d met at a party, struggling in my business, being bashed over the head with “You should get a job” when I was consistently looking for one, suffering insomnia and vomiting and in hives from the stress. I lost myself and lost hope. Now I know that in all that I was still the smartest, most resourceful and amazing person because I survived it. The lack of things showed me what I was, something I may not have learned when I had lots of things.

Don’t rest your hope and self-worth on anything beyond your gift of existence. The things are extra, not everything. For me, Jah is everything. For you, it may be something else, but if you rest your worth on tangible things it will deteriorate as fast as those tangible things can.

Rethink how and why you think and behave the way you do. Your opinion may be wholly or partly different from mine. I’ll even hold that these observations have only helped ME to live more fully. However, if something I said seems worth trying, try it. My goal is for us all to be happier and more fulfilled and we may inadvertently be throwing a wrench in it. Assess what that wrench is and get rid of it.

My advice to men would be the same, although they are typically groomed to be far more aggressive and cut throat. But to me, foolishness is foolishness, no matter the gender. Living fully is difficult in a world that thrives on cutting others down to get ahead, but it is entirely possible.

What things have you seen yourself or others do that have hurt them more than help? Share in the comments below.