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Are Men More Sensitive Than Women At Work? A Study Says Yes, Sis

Are Men More Sensitive Than Women At Work? A Study Says Yes, Sis

Here are some tips to manage your emotions---and deal with his---at the office.

Workin' Girl

Traditionally, black women are seen as strong and bold, oftentimes taking life's hits to the chin, sucking "it" up---"it" meaning feelings, concerns, and frustrations---or shrugging off pain and discomfort. We all know this to be a stereotype that is true for some, but it is far from true for others.

If I could raise my hand in agreement with the latter and type at the same time I would. I'm an empath, wear my emotions on both sleeves, and am the first to let you know how I feel. In the past, I've been told I'm "too sensitive" if I voiced concern about a very valid issue or if I didn't let something "slide" that was demeaning, demoralizing or just plain disrespectful.

In the workplace, this takes on a whole different meaning and can have very detrimental effects on a woman's career, especially since women who speak up can be called far worse words than "sensitive." If you are authoritative or an assertive leader, you're either a bitch, uncooperative, or "hard to work with," and this is a problem that is super-magnified for women of color who are often already code-switching just to keep their jobs.

Image by Shutterstock

Well ladies, the next time you are accused of being "too sensitive" or "in your feelings" at work, there's a recent study that gives you a bit of redemptive recourse. (At the very least, it should put a smile on your face after that 10th annoying encounter with an insecure, insensitive, or inappropriate boss or coworker.) I was delightfully surprised to read that men are actually "more sensitive" at work than women. The study, conducted by Totaljobs.com, a U.K.-based hiring platform, states:

  • Men were 1.6x more emotional than women about being criticized
  • Men were 2.4x more emotional than women because their "ideas weren't heard"
  • Men were 2.5x more emotional than women about "having a fall out"
  • Women were 25% more emotional than men about "stress/frustration"

The study also found that men were "more emotionally invested" in workplace projects than women and that they are three times more likely to get "emotional" because a project "went over budget, missed a deadline, or got canceled." (Some of my sistas read this and said, "Well I didn't need a study to tell me that. I see that every week!" Amen, sis. Amen.) The researchers of the study also found that women "experience more stress at work," are feeling "sadder", and often mask those feelings.

They offer the following tips for dealing with emotions at work. Use them for yourself or pass the memo on to the men in your life and workplace:

Acknowledge the Feelings

"Let yourself feel the emotion for a while. Let the emotion out. Cry if you need to. Recognize what your sadness is telling you. Write it down."

Do Something Active

"Go outside if possible. Exercise has been shown to improve mood and getting inside your own head on the treadmill can help work through the messages that your sadness is sending you."

Get Support From Someone You Trust

"Chatting it through often helps to organize thoughts and helps to order responses to feeling sad."

If you're the one giving the support...

Researchers recommend the following:

  • No matter what the emotion is, acknowledge it.
  • Don't jump to give advice.
  • Focus on your role as an advocate, but you're not the problem-solver.
  • Don't downplay their response.
  • Stay away from saying, "Cheer up" or "It will be alright."
  • Keep things confidential as to avoid loss of trust or instigation of drama.
  • Make listening a priority.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

Why The "Working Twice As Hard" Mentality Doesn't Work

What Happened When I Tried Being More Assertive At Work

Speaking Up At Work As A Black Woman

Why You Should Develop Work Friendships

Featured image by Shutterstock

The Mamie 'Till' Movie Wants To Empower Us

Sitting in the theater getting ready to watch Nopefor the third time, I was excited, like a good film nerd, to see my friend's first-time reactions to the fun UFO horror-comedy. My heart sank immediately when a trailer for the film Till, which follows the life and legacy of Emmett Till's mother, Mamie, started playing first.

My knee-jerk reaction, of course, comes from years of watching film and TV that have exploited Black trauma onscreen and were created with little (if any) consideration for what could emotionally trigger the Black audience. The 1955 murder of Emmett Till is so heartbreaking and inherently violent; would this film make us live through that violence on screen?

Fortunately, no!

This week, before watching Gina Prince-Bythewood's incredible The Woman King, a featurette for Till played in place of a trailer and it soothed my fears.

"There will be no physical violence against Black people on screen," the film's award-winning director and co-writer Chinonye Chukwu says in the featurette. "I'm not interested in relishing in that kind of physical trauma. We're going to begin and end in a place of joy," she says.

Starring Danielle Deadwyler (whose heartfelt performance on HBO's Station Eleven stole the show) as Mamie, Till is a celebration of Mamie's tireless activism which sparked the civil rights movement that continues today and ultimately culminated in President Biden signing the Emmett Till Anti-Lynching Act into law just a few months ago in March 2022. "Mamie Till Mobley is a hero," says Alana Mayo, president of Orion Pictures, the production company behind the film. "I'm really, really committed to making movies not just by us, but for us," Mayo says in the featurette.

After a private screening of Till, this week, Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, tweeted that the film was "#Powerful" and "a must see."

Mamie's story of courage in the face of unspeakable tragedy deserves to be told--especially as we continue the fight for civil rights today. Knowing that the Black filmmakers behind the film are centering Black joy and aiming for our empowerment through the film makes a world of difference.

TILLis in theaters October 14.

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