September 13, 2011


I don't talk very specifically about work but sometimes I have to. On Friday two interesting and not altogether pleasant things happend that highlighted to me my own emotional failings.

Right as I was in the middle of dealing with senior folks and clients and a person I mentor, an email bomb dropped, one of those messages that when it pops into your inbox makes you cringe and when you read makes you say fuck really, really loud.

My reaction was two-fold: I have to take action and solve the problems immediately and I have to do it myself. The problem? Neither of these things are true. Sure, each of these events necessitated some response. But not a response at 4:00 on a Friday afternoon. And not a response that consisted only of my own actions and own opinions.

So I did something odd. I didn't react immediately. Sure, I freaked out a little bit. Then I reached out to a colleague and set up time to talk through a couple of issues yesterday and tried my best not to obsess about it over the weekend.

And you know what happened? I dealt with it swiftly, professionally, and, if I can be so bold, well yesterday. It took the whole damn day but I did it.

Hey, look at me...I'm getting mature and shit.

What's your biggest emotional failing?

Posted by Chris at September 13, 2011 7:34 AM

I suppose I would be in the same boat except I tend to freak out over things that are perfectly able to be taken care of. For example, I know I need new brakes but when I heard a loud squeaking on my car on Sunday, I let the stress of knowing I had to do this SOON really overtake me. I was pissy at home (which prompted me to start whirl-wind cleaning) and not happy with anyone. I tend to do this a lot but am trying to calm myself when I get into these situations. Because there's really no point!

Posted by: Claire at September 13, 2011 8:24 AM

It depends on the situation. Mostly I tend to empathize and allow my emotions to carry me off. Been trying to get that under control.

Posted by: Maribeth at September 13, 2011 8:57 AM

My first response to most things is anger. Yes, I have anger management issues.I even tell my kids that when I get scared it even comes out looking like anger. I have learned the fine art of waiting to respond though and highly recommend it!

Posted by: Debbie at September 13, 2011 10:49 AM

My biggest emotional failing is working with morons on a daily basis.

Posted by: Celtic-Knot at September 13, 2011 6:15 PM

Mine is the need to fix everything. I had too take care of everyone as a child and I haven't been able too completely let go of this.

Posted by: One Mom's Opinion at September 13, 2011 10:45 PM

Ah, so many! Seriously though, my biggest emotional failing is probably that I get too emotionally involved and too easily take on other people's problems, stress, moods, etc. I realized this after Hurricane Katrina. OK, I didn't realize it so much as it was pointed out to me by a close family member who knew just how much CNN I was watching and how upset I was getting because I couldn't do anything to help. Once I stepped away from the TV and got a little perspective I realized that he had a point and that it's something I do in general, not just with the news. Since then, I try to avoid watching too much coverage of natural disasters, wars, etc.

The head-in-the-sand approach is tough for a news junkie and even tougher in real life situations, where a coworker's venting can totally drag down my mood. That's the worst part, because I'm not good at compartmentalizing and I really need to be able to focus on my work. When I can't it just kills my productivity.

I think it's awesome you managed to take a step back, not harp on it all weekend, and then get some input on Monday before dealing with the situation. Kudos!

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