Looking Emotional

Stay quiet while the microaggressions bounce
Ego bruised, feelings hurt, soul aggrieved
No tears shed lest it provokes additional attacks
Stay strong and grim faced, be a man
Introverts don’t survive unless they develop
Thick skins and calloused psyches
In private they can shed the snake skin becoming
Vulnerable and soft and emotionally available
Enjoying chick flicks, cartoons and poetry

This is my NPM challenge #9 – Write an acrostic poem using an emotion. I had a conversation with a friend at work. She was distraught. There were a couple situations she found herself in that were uncomfortable. She was feeling attacked and disrespected. We talked about it and I suggested that possibly the other parties were not aware that they had made her feel that way. We talked about women in positions of power. She is just young enough to not have seen the first wave of women who broke the glass ceiling. Those pioneers had to be more manly than men. They had to play the game better than the men to get half the respect and half the pay and half the authority. They were able to do so by developing tough exteriors and denying their emotions. They couldn’t show any signs of weakness. I suggested that perhaps there was a little of that going on. And also that having a little thicker skin might be beneficial as she moves into a leadership role. It took me awhile to realize that approval from my superiors didn’t (or shouldn’t) define my worth as a human being. I told her that. The happy ending is she got 2 sincere apologies and had conversations that have changed the dynamic between her and these other women. I’m a big proponent of the separation of work life and social life. What I do for a living does not define me. Granted it has impacted who I am but it hasn’t taken over my core, changed my moral compass, or damaged my soul…

26 thoughts on “Looking Emotional

  1. You are a kind, wise mentor. I hope that my young adults have people like you in their professional lives.
    Also. Cool poem. I’m glad you mentioned it was an acrostic. The poem is so strong, I hadn’t noticed. Well done.

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    1. I’m so pleased you enjoyed this one. At work they have an initiative to mentor women by other women who have achieved success. So far it is working although as my friend has found there are as many different styles as there are women. I hope yours have good role models and mentors…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! For the comment and the visit too! She and I have a really nice relationship. We often bounce ideas off each other and when faced with a really vexing situation we know we can trust the other to give us compassionate advice. Not everyone has such a friend at work.

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      1. Too true that not many find friends at work. I have worked with the same team for the past five years. I am now located in a different building too far away to walk, but a quick trip to drive. Even when I was in the same building as most of my team, we rarely spoke to each other. Everything was in instant messaging or email. Since I live alone, I found after a couple of years I became unable to couch my thoughts in the spoken word. I could key them quickly, but not retrieve them for speaking! I would actually stutter and grope for the word I wanted to use – how embarrassing when I was in a meeting or a social situation!

        God finally sent me a neighbor about 2 years ago who is my age and stage. She was recently widowed and just as hungry for someone to talk to as I was. It certainly helped that we were both wiling to be vulnerable and transparent. It’s been the best thing that has happened to me – socially – ever. I thank God for my neighbor, Kathy, all the time.

        Now that I have (FINALLY) found a church that I feel comfortable going to, I know that will also remedy my social drought in good ways. Hurrah for good social influences!

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        1. Having a friend (bonus for being a close neighbor) is I think a necessity for humans as we are generally social animals. Even the introverted enjoy human companionship in limited quantities or on their own terms. Finding a church that feels like home is wonderful. I’m sure you will find the social aspect substantially improves your life!

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  2. I enjoyed this one, Muri. It’s all about the face we have to put on to succeed, the feelings we have to hide. We all need a place of safety, where we can let down our guard, allow our real selves to be known. It led me to question why folks pretend in the first place, why we need two (or more) faces to get through life, how much a bit more honesty and vulnerability would improve our relationships. There is a wide gap between empathy and mind-reading. I love it that you “suggested that possibly the other parties were not aware that they had made her feel that way” because that is often the case. I love that it gave her the courage to speak up, and that the confrontation ended with apologies and better working relationships going forward. 🙂

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    1. Those are very good questions. I think it is a matter of power. Being honest with feelings especially the ones that can be interpreted as being “weak” like crying, can make a person a target for bullying or mark someone as not having the proper leadership skills for promotion… Anyway it is always a gamble to reveal who you really are in the workplace.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. In any relationship work, personal, etc. there is always disrespect. Not always does the person know they are doing it. I have had a sit down with coworkers where we got everything out there and cleared the air. One would bring so much junk from home and clutter up the work place, another would take off a couple hours a week on the one busy day and get mad when we needed time off, I worked with two non morning people who were bothered by my let’s attack the day attitude first thing so I worked in the warehouse by myself then while the woke up.

    I know there have been tense times with Wrangler when none of us get along. One disrespectful act and it builds and builds. We have grown as a couple where after the heat of the moment we can talk over what happened and learn and move on. The latest was two Sundays ago I was in the house starting to pack when I went outside Wrangler was mad it took me so long to respond. Well I could not hear him yelling from the top of the truck in the house. He was irritated and irritated me. The whole time I helped him with that project I felt disrespected. The next day after I nearly had 24 hours to cool down we talked it out. I said the whole thing started out with us irritated because if the way you asked for help. Next time text or come get me from the house and I would be happy to help. Then maybe the whole project will go better. Also if I spend hours on a project and some of it is it even time I am doing something other than sitting there waiting until you need me and you come in the house and relax two hours while I scramble to pack it’s going to start costing you money to my wants savings. I am saving for a camera. My wants I usually put to the side of everything else to buy a lot. I dont have wants very often either over twenty or thirty bucks.

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    1. There are days! You were very accommodating with your coworkers to busy yourself while they geared up to work. I know that when someone gets up on the wrong side of the bed it can taint the whole day… Glad you two were able to discuss it and learn. That bodes well for a long and happy marriage!

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  4. Awesome poem! Relevant, well-written (as usual), and you nailed the acrostic. I was afraid it was about something that happened to you, so I’m glad you clarified.

    I’m about to post my poem about angels – another quickly written one. I need to get a day or two ahead so I can spend a little more time on each poem. Or maybe not – I usually write well under pressure.

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    1. I’m so glad you liked this one! It was not hard to write since I was inspired by real life events. I worked for SWMNBN so I’ve gone through it all. At least it has a happy ending! I can’t wait to read your angel poem!

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  5. A great poem Val. You write so beautifully.
    I have not written much this month, because I have been so busy with a hundred other things. I have missed your posts. I do not know why I cannot read you on the ‘Reader’ portion of WP.

    I hope you are having a great weekend my dear friend. Love and hugs.

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    1. Thank you for the compliment! I’ve heard some others having the issue that WP has dropped their contacts. They had to re-follow many people that previously showed up in their feed! I am having a wonderful weekend and steeling myself to turn in the retirement paperwork on Monday! Monday starts the 10 week countdown. I hope you do find a little time to write as I love your poetry!!!

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  6. You sound like a very valuable coworker to have! I like the lines “I’m a big proponent of the separation of work life and social life. What I do for a living does not define me. Granted it has impacted who I am but it hasn’t taken over my core, changed my moral compass, or damaged my soul…” I wish more people would realize this…. There’s more to life than work!

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