Lisa2 doesn’t quite grasp the point:
Personally, I wouldn’t want to work for a boss, male or female, that had such little comm skills that all they could come up with is “This is crap”. It has nothing to do with my “feewings” being hurt…. The couple of times I’ve missed a deadline or something, I was called to the mat for it, but he was able to do better than “Your work is crap” or “You f—– up, idiot”, or what ever. I see your point, Vox. But I think you used a bad example.
Most women I work with, would be all in a twist if their boss, factually, unemotinally and calmly called them to the mat on a deadline they missed.
I think the thing Lisa is missing here is that “your work is crap” and “you f—– up” can be factual, unemotional and calm statements coming from a superior. This points to the root of the problem, namely, that women infer emotion and personal issues where none exist. The “idiot” is almost always unsaid and usually not implied, but a woman will hear it all the same.
It was very illuminating for me when I got into a discussion with a female friend of ours at a Bible study a few years back. She misunderstood a certain phrase and based on that misunderstanding, offered an obviously false interpretation. When I told her, “you’re wrong,” and repeated it several times in response to her attempt to justify it as an opinion, she got very upset. I found this mystifying – there was no doubt she was factually and demonstrably wrong – but finally understood it the next day when she told me how upset she was that I had repeatedly called her stupid.
But I hadn’t, not once, nor had I even implied it with tone of voice or non-verbal communication. Only when I asked her if she honestly expected to be considered correct at all times by everyone did she understand how absurd and self-destructive her basic position had been.
No one likes being called on the carpet, but it is inevitable. What’s important is not avoiding criticism, but how you accept it and respond to it. And you should not be surprised if your boss expresses some annoyance either; it’s nothing personal, in most cases it’s simply irritation with having to deal with something he felt he would not – and should not – have to think about or otherwise fix.
Karen concedes the point, but wonders about it nonetheless:
Nothing to argue with Vox, I can’t take criticism well at all. It really hurts! Women tend to be more motivated by relationship than by sucess, so if our work displeases someone, it hurts more. Think about it, women tend to judge their life in terms of how sucessful their relationships are and men in terms of how their career. Everyone is good at something, but most women are made to be wives and mothers anyways, so why judge them harshly if they are not good at the careers that they are forced into? I don’t envy the cooler, more masculine, ultra-professional women. I wouldn’t want to become one at all! I don’t get why you men criticize us for not being more like men and then criticize us for being too much like men.
I’m not criticizing women for not being like men… nor do I think it’s either possible or desirable for women to be too much like men. In the case of the latter, it’s like watching a cat try to act like a dog; it’s not convincing and what actually irritates the dogs is having to pretend that they find it to be so. The point of my post was not to criticize women, only to point out the irony of how the truth of some things remains obvious to everyone despite decades of people trying to pretend otherwise.
I understand that many women have to work. But fewer women have to work than believe they do, and the better they understand the truth of themselves, the sexes and the workplace, the happier they will be. And the happier they are, the happier everyone around them will be.
Let’s face it, this blog is just a little ray of sunshine, making the world a shinier, happier, warmer and friendlier place. Group hug!