I’m Not Going to Cry
BY: ALLY IMAI, SHAZAM
I’m not going to lie, there were times I would worry that when “that time of the month” came around our “Aunt Flo” visited, I’d be vulnerable and susceptible to uncontrollable waterworks and outbursts. I know, it’s the most cliche things that women are asked or receive comments on if they raise their voice or get “emotional,” but I also know my body and it’s reacted in ways I never thought were of my own control so it’s any one’s guess what could go down!
Then, as a female, to be angry or cry at work can be perceived by others as an unprofessional act in the workplace and a sign of weakness. We display these emotions and all sorts of assumptions can sometimes be made.
But I am human, so I have had moments of vulnerability at work; I can count on one hand the times I had “lost it” at work over my 14-year career in digital media. They rarely happened in my career and I never used as a method to get my way. A small bruise to the ego was the most damage suffered and I had done it because I didn’t know how to properly communicate my feelings beforehand, suppressed emotions like frustration/anger and/or was plain overwhelmed. It had nothing to do with my monthly visits from Aunt Flo. :)
Today, I learned the power of my voice and to acknowledge what I’m feelings. Again, I haven’t stopped being human, so emotions still sit inside me like those adorable characters from Inside Out, but I recognize what I’m about to feel and I address them either by communicating to the person that might be at the root of it, or verbalizing that I’m overwhelmed and need help.
Moral of the story. Don’t dismiss your feelings or feel you need to be callous and cold to succeed in the workplace. Our emotions, ability to be nurturing and caring, are what make us inherently female, and we should embrace it. But the catch, like most things in life, don’t abuse the release of emotions in the workplace. It is still, the workplace. But don’t stop being human either! :)