Friday, April 27, 2007

There's No Crying . . . At Work?

Madonnaleague According to Tom Hanks's character in "A League of Their Own," there's no crying in baseball. But how about at work?

Thanks to Nancy Rapoport's Blogspot for this article from the Wall Street Journal on crying at work:

Kathryn Brady thinks crying at the office is getting a bad rap.

As a corporate finance manager, Ms. Brady has occasionally had bosses who drove her to tears. While they saw crying as a sign of weakness, Ms. Brady says she was actually crying in anger because they were so hard to work with. When you want to do a good job and "you're thwarted in that, you become frustrated," says Ms. Brady, 34, of Atlanta. "The misinterpretation that I'm whiny or weak is just not fair."

Crying at work has long been seen as verboten. But there's evidence that a growing number of workers, especially those in their 20s and 30s, see it differently. Some think it's old-fashioned to hide your emotions. Others are quick to cry over negative feedback. And many find themselves at odds with managers who grew up with a more repressive definition of professional conduct.

Although women still report crying more often than men, it has become more socially acceptable since the 2001 terrorist attacks for both men and women to cry in certain situations, says Stephanie Shields, a psychology professor at Pennsylvania State University and author of a book on emotional expression. Bonnie Sashin, 56, a communications specialist in Boston, says a male co-worker in his 20s fought back tears while telling her about a chewing-out he'd gotten from a colleague. "A guy less in touch with his feelings ... might have expressed anger, outrage or pounded the table," she says.

I agree with Nancy on all of this that, "I wish it were true that crying in frustration and anger were more acceptable at work, but I just don't agree."


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