So often we feel it is not good to be angry—particularly at work, where we’ll be seen and judged. We fear our anger is unbecoming, and that if we let ourselves get angry, we won’t be liked or that we’ll be labeled the dreaded “B-word.” Instead, we tell ourselves we should be pleasing, approachable, not threatening, and accommodating to all of the nonsense.
To make sure you are acting the way you should, you watch the reaction of others to gauge if what you’re doing is acceptable (and God forbid you aren’t acceptable). You adjust your voice, maybe making it sound less threatening and younger. You watch your posture and the way you walk.
In short, at work and in other parts of your life, you put those hard-to-put-a-finger-on society forces that I’ve dubbed girly thoughts in charge of your career—a terrible idea that I discuss in The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan.
Don’t Get Angry and Cry: Instead, Get Smart
When you are afraid of being angry, a terrible inner tension is created, and you become frustrated. As a result, especially in important meetings when you feel your anger beginning, you may feel your tears welling.
But instead of trying to figure out if you should cry at work or not, perhaps the better question is: Why is crying the first feeling up when you are angry? It is fear of crying that many women cite as a reason not to speak up, because crying at work would make them be seen as weak, as lacking leadership qualities or as undependable.
Not only does crying at work feel risky, but it has an awful side benefit, too; crying keeps you in the role of needing to be rescued, yes, even at work, while your anger, well, that will have others look at you as a “B”—and your girly thoughts do say that is even worse.
So what to do? Be smart:
Practice makes perfect, and at work you are likely to get a great deal of practice in identifying those girly thoughts that bring on your tears.
You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power
Let me know how you deal with wanting to cry at work.
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