“You are amazing!”
“You got this!”
No matter how you say it, it feels damn good to tell someone how great they are—especially when you’re talking to your close female friends. Maybe you find yourself doing it all the time, maybe you don’t say it as much as you'd like to, but taking the time to give someone a boost is so important. In fact, some people would say it’s essential in a close friendship. It’s called “gassing,” and, hopefully, it's here to stay.
“Gassing” is a completely unsolicited boost of energy and can-do attitude that you send someone else’s way. Maybe you’re complimenting their killer outfit, maybe you’re revving them up for a job interview, maybe it’s just a completely random reminder of how f*cking amazing they are because you think they need to hear it. Over the past couple of decades, gassing has cemented itself in female friendships, and while it might sound silly, flippant, or frivolous, gassing actually plays a very important role in female bonding. So here’s why and how you should embrace it in your relationships.
You Go, Girl
In a way, it’s no surprise that we’ve reached peak gassing levels in the early 21st century. We’ve been seeing sparks of female-on-female empowerment for a long time—really, since women entered the workforce in full. The 1980s gave us the movie hit “Working Girl,” essentially a two-hour gas-a-thon and commentary on women in the office. The 1990s gave us “You go, girl!” a joyful saying for—and encouragement of—forward, formidable women who were, well, going for it. As women have stepped out of domesticity and into the world around them, we’ve been subtly reaching out to build each other up. We’ve had to, because no one else would.
But if you flash forward to 2018, there have been very major, recent shifts. In the time of #MeToo and #TimesUp, women are standing up for each other. No longer is it a subtle pat on the pack or boosting each other up over a girl’s lunch, it's very much out in the open. Women are done with being treated badly, done with competing with each other, and they ready to shout about their pride in other women—and in themselves. And even better, social media and the Internet makes it easier to spread that encouragement, gassing it up across oceans and time zones. No wonder gassing has arrived in full force.
Likes, Emojis, Retweets, and Phone Calls
If you feel like you don’t know how to reach out and boost up the people around you, there are so many different ways to do it. Try to channel the friendly drunk girl in the club bathroom who can’t wait to tell everyone how beautiful, incredible, and special they are—but you’ll do it without the smudged eyeliner and losing your shoe. Send someone a pile of emojis, comment on their selfie, or just pick up the damn phone and call them because you’re thinking of them and how great they are. The important thing is not to be shy or fake. Be over-the-top and unabashed in your enthusiasm for them. There can be a lot of disdain for social media and hunting for likes, but if your friend needs a boost—or you just feel like they deserve it—then you should send them love any way you can.
Taking Up Space
Whether you’re a naturally exuberant person or more shy, it’s time to start loving gassing. Spread it to your friends, coworkers, or even just amazing people you follow on Twitter. Because here’s the thing: gassing is, in a way, about taking up space. Women who have so long been told to minimize themselves, to erase themselves, are telling other women to stand up straight, puff out their chests and be proud. In a way, it’s a mini-revolt, a way of demonstrating that you are allowed to feel big, to feel like you are entitled to take up space and exist in the world around you. Look at the women in your life or other marginalized voices and be their hype. Give someone else the ego boost that you wish you had been given when you were feeling shy or low or confused (or like the world was working against you).
So even if it might feel silly to throw endless love at the people you care about most—especially if you’re normally more reticent—try to open your arms and embrace it. You'll want them to feel as big and important and fabulous as they are in your eyes. So go ahead, gas them up.