Let go of all of those ideas about being someone else.
Really. You’re under no obligation to be your Instagram likes, your Twitter replies, or the talk of the town. The only type of girl you should be is the one who finds strength and comfort in who you are.
And that girl is who everyone turns to for advice — she’s so confident and badass she radiates empowerment.
Easier said than done, I know, but I’ve come a long way in this journey of self-discovery. I’ve found that the more confidence I have in myself, the less room there is for that nagging, negative voice inside my head to be like someone else.
And while you’re putting your best foot forward, it helps to remember the golden rule: Treat others the way you want them to treat you.
1. Be the girl who throws compliments around like candy
Did you know being complimented is like having a mini-orgasm inside your brain? Researchers have found that when you receive a compliment, it can trigger the same reward centers in your brain that light up during sex. Yes, please!
Unconvinced? Well, a separate study found that almost identical reward centers light up when you get money or praise. Money talks, but so can you.
With either comparison, researchers found that the better the compliment, the more mental gymnastics occur in response. That’s why you break into a smile when your usual barista notices your new look or when your boss starts raving about your presentation.
Do this! If you see something you like, don’t hold back! Seriously, telling someone that you love their shoes could make their day. Just make sure that you aren’t overdoing it to the point that it becomes disingenuous.
2. Be the girl who’s drunk when she’s sober — seriously
We all know the type — the girls who come stumbling into the club or bar bathroom, smiling ear to ear and ready to talk. They’re some of the greatest women I’ve ever met. They’re also the best friends that I’ll never see again.
These are the girls you can tell anything — without fear of judgement — and you know they’ll have your back.
Did the person you come with find someone new? These girls are five seconds away from finding you a new boo to boogie with. Is that last Long Island coming back to haunt you? One girl is ready to hold your hair and the other is off to get you a cup of water.
Do this! This friendship shouldn’t be limited to our boozy bathroom encounters. Be the girl who’s this supportive all the time.
3. Be the girl who isn’t afraid to check in
We’ve all seen someone having a meltdown in public. Hell, some of us have even been the girl behind the breakdown (myself included). But how often do we actually reach out to the girl crying in the corner and ask if she’s OK?
In a well-known study, researchers found that when bystanders were alone, 75 percent helped when they thought someone was in trouble. But when a group of six people were together, only 31 percent stepped in.
Do this! Don’t be afraid to ask a girl if she needs help, even if she’s with someone. Although it’s possible that she’s just really excited about something, it doesn’t hurt to ask if she needs a helping hand. The only way to know for sure is to take it upon yourself to ask.
She may say she’s fine or shrug off your offer. That’s OK. At the very least, she’ll know that she’s not alone.
4. Be the girl who’s into herself
Having a crew to call your own has countless benefits, but you’re going to miss out on all of them if you’re constantly comparing yourself to the women around you.
So what if you’ve been the only one rocking short hair, and now your friend wants to join the pixie party? You’re still two different people!
Instead of getting caught up in whether she’s going to “look better” than you, offer to send her to your stylist and help her prepare for the big chop.
The same can be said for a friend who’s gotten a big promotion while you’re still planning your next big move. The minute you realize you aren’t competing against each other — and that there’s plenty of room for everyone in the group — it’ll feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders.
Do this! Ditch the internal ranking system and embrace their successes. After all, if you aren’t in competition, you’re in cahoots — and who doesn’t want that?
5. Be the girl who has it all
The only thing worse than starting your period when you least expect it is the horrifying realization that you don’t have anything to stop your flow — and there’s not a Walgreens in sight.
A survey by Free the Tampons Foundation found that 86 percent of 1,072 women have found themselves in the same situation, and 57 percent felt more embarrassed than annoyed, stressed, or panicked.
But the bonds of sisterhood are steep — 53 percent of women shared that when this happened, they asked another woman for a pad or tampon. So pay it forward!
Do this! Not only will keeping your bag stocked with extra menstrual products help you out in the long run, it could mean the difference between someone’s pair of ruined jeans and making it to a big meeting at work on time.
Sharing a couple of bite-sized squares can help with PMS, boost midday productivity, and bond with the girl sitting next to you.
6. Be the girl who’s damn independent (and DGAF)
It doesn’t matter whether your idea of a good time is staying in to watch Netflix or strapping on a pair of sky-high stilettos and dancing until it’s time to find breakfast.
So what if you spend your weekends catching up with your sorority sisters or planning for your next Comic Con? In the bigger picture, the “clique” that you fall into can be as irrelevant as your GPA is after graduation.
What works for me (or anyone else) isn’t going to work for you, and it doesn’t need to. You don’t have to love lipstick, Beyoncé (yeah, we went there), or “Game of Thrones” to be awesome.
Do this! Embracing what you love can be a powerful thing — especially for those around you. After all, if I see you out there being as badass as you are, I’m going to ask myself, what’s stopping me?
7. Be the girl who everyone says is glowing
No, I’m not talking about highlighter. I’m talking about genuine, glowing-from-the-inside-out shine. Kind of like what Anna Kendrick has going on, but multiplied by 100.
It’s no secret that happiness is contagious. In fact, science shows that when you’re around people who are happy, you tend to take on their winning personality. You’ll find yourself feeling happier, more energized, and less stressed overall.
Do this! A smile is all it takes to start spreading good vibes. So, the next time you’re walking down the street, put your phone away! Save the screen for later and start connecting — however briefly — with the people who pass by.
We all have our off days, and it’s impossible to be “on” all the time. But that doesn’t mean we should give in to the noise. Every moment is a new opportunity to turn the day around — for you and for those around you.
Tess Catlett isn’t your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, but she is an editor at Healthline.com. When she’s not behind her computer screen, you can find her in the front row screaming along to mid-2000s emo anthems. Follow along with her on Instagram and Twitter.