On How to Keep Women Friends
Rosalind Russell Tells Secret; Never Confide Your Own Shortcomings
(By Rosalind Russell)
Appearing with Norma Shearer and Joan Crawford in "The Women"
No woman should ever confide a weakness or a shortcoming to another woman. Deny it, and if it does happen to be a real fault keep her guessing as to whether you're crazy or who she is. So many women think it is smart to boast about a weakness, real or imaginary. This only serves to make the real shortcoming material for gossip or build up the imaginary one until it is more tangible than the other.
The surest way to keep women friends is never to ask questions. The minute you give way to the temptation of prying into other people's business, trouble inevitably follows.
There is only one basis upon which feminine friendships can be successfully preserved, and that is comradeship plus a detached impersonal attitude. Think back on some of your own experiences. Personally, there is nothing so abhorrent to me as to hear women gossiping about my friends. It makes me distrust them immediately. If they will talk about my friends, they will talk about me.
Knowing too much about other people's private lives is apt to lead to disaster. This is doubly true in the case of women. The woman who knows the business of all her friends has no friends. She may think she has but she holds them only through fear. They have heard her talk about others, and they are afraid she will do the same to them.
Smart women, who really value the feminine friendships they have cultivated, will always hedge away from finding out any bit of gossip about their intimates. It goes back to the truism, "Familiarity breeding contempt."
Of course, it is easy to pick out flaws in women's armor. It would be even simpler to detect weaknesses in men. I think that the woman of today is a big improvement on her sister of even a decade ago. But being human, we all could stand some improvement. If between the laughs, you take the heart some of the lessons to be learned from "The Women," particularly on the subject of gossip, you will find them profitable. I did.