亲爱的水弹：这个世界上有很多像你这样的人，知道这一点或许能让你感觉好一点。安妮•克里默在撰写她的新书《职场情绪管理》（It's Always Personal: Navigating Emotion in the New Workplace）时，曾与广告公司智威汤逊（JWT）合作，就“情绪在职场中的作用”对商业人士进行了广泛调查。 调查有很多有意思的发现，包括：约25%的职场人对极度压力的反应是哭泣。女性中这一比例更是高达41%。
Dear Annie: I am really embarrassed to even be asking this question, but I am in a quandary here and am hoping you (or your readers) can help. A couple of weeks ago, my boss gave me my year-end evaluation and it was a disaster. He explained that, while my work is "fantastic," I'm not getting a promotion I had been counting on because I am "too emotional" to move up to the next level of management. He was referring specifically to a couple of times when I was under extreme pressure and burst into tears with other people watching.
Making matters worse, when he dropped this bombshell about the promotion on me, I teared up again. Right now, I'm the only female department head at my company, and I really hate reinforcing the old stereotypes about women being "weak" and "emotional," especially since I am not weak at all. But I have cried in stressful situations all my life. I can't seem to help it. Is there any way to fix this? —Waterworks
Dear W.: It might help a little to know that you've got plenty of company. In researching her new book, It's Always Personal: Navigating Emotion in the New Workplace, Anne Kreamer teamed up with ad agency JWT to survey a wide range of businesspeople (of both genders) about the role of emotion where they work. Among the many interesting findings: About 25% of the working population overall is made up of people who respond to extreme stress by crying. Among women, it's 41%.
"That's not to say that men don't cry under pressure. Of course they do," says Kreamer, who is a former executive vice president and worldwide creative director at Nickolodeon. "But there are physical differences. A man may start to tear up and then blink back his tears. Women have smaller tear ducts, so the tears are more likely to spill out onto their cheeks," where everyone can see them.
Nor is puddling up now and then necessarily a career killer. Don't believe it? Google "John Boehner crying." Nonetheless, and whatever you may think of Boehner's politics, he's certainly a success in his field.
Although showing emotion still carries a stigma in many workplaces, as you know only too well, Kreamer's research led her to believe that may be slowly changing, for three reasons. First, emotions have gained respect in just the past few years as an area of scientific inquiry. "This is really new," notes Kreamer. "We now understand the neurological and biochemical aspects of emotional responses, and how they affect every area of life, including decision-making." As a result, she says, "the old model of leaving your emotions at home and being totally logical at work is clearly just unrealistic."
It's unrealistic for another reason, too. "Culturally, we've changed," Kreamer points out. "With the 24/7 technology we have now, we have stuff coming at us from all directions all the time, so that work and home are inextricably intertwined." Turning off or tamping down our emotions when switching our attention back and forth between the two realms is a skill that many have yet to master.