My upset sister in law called me up and waned to vent out her frustration. She was just out of hospital recovering from a kidney infection .Torn between caring for her-self and household chores, she found her husband being most un cooperative. That is what she wanted to talk about. She vented, I listened and that automatically calmed her down.
A good friend of mine, working as a senior technical writer in Hyderabad, requested for a Skype call as she wanted to discuss her bullying boss and how to deal with her. After an hour of coaching her, she felt confident of dealing with the situation next day at office.
I have observed that women, as a species, have certain systems in place which help them be emotionally more stable as compared to their male counterparts and therefore are able to tackle stress better.
Research points to the fact that, men are more likely than women to have an alcohol or drug problem. 67% of British people who consume alcohol at ‘hazardous’ levels, and 80% of those dependent on alcohol are male. Almost three quarters of people dependent on cannabis and 69% of those dependent on other illegal drugs are male. (The Office for National Statistics Psychiatric Morbidity report, 2001)
So what are some of the systems that women have set up for themselves?
- They talk about their personal pain more openly as compared to their male counterparts.
- They share best practices with each other as well as in groups– over lunch, near the coffee machine etc.
- They show more care and concern for each other and help out friends-whether its baby-sitting for friends or sending food to a neighbour’s house whenever the need arises.
- Women display their emotions in natural and healthy ways, rather than bottling them up and having outbursts, unlike men. So there seems to be a major Social factor at play here. Women’s socializing plays a very important role in bringing in the stability.
A survey I did with my women friends, and colleagues, revealed the following :
- Married women are required to adjust in their husband’s home. § Expectations from women are different.
- They create an environment which nurtures relationships and maintains harmony
- Motherhood teaches a woman several qualities, viz patience, resilience, ability to handle moods –yours and others’, sensitivity to other people’s emotions.
- Women find a confidante’ – they have close relations in which they can share emotions. They have heart to heart talks and make peace with their issues.
- Women turn to prayer to bust their stress
- Women de-stress by listening to music or watching TV.
- Women play with children and that is what makes them forget their blues.
- Women always remember that they have children, which automatically brings in a sense of responsibility.
I would like to conclude with the following excerpts from an article by Mr. Joshua Freedman
A new analysis of over 24,000 leaders and workers from all over the world shows female leaders, statistically, have an edge in three key areas of people-leadership:
(1) EQ is made of numerous component parts; Women are particularly higher in some – but not all;
(2) The largest gap is in the capacity to predict the emotional consequences of actions allowing women to be more strategic with feelings;
(3) In key aspects of EQ, women in leadership roles are even further ahead of their male counterparts, suggesting that these differentiators may be essential for females to advance their careers.
On account of the female edge in “Enhance Emotional Literacy” and “Apply Consequential Thinking,” it’s likely that “Ms. X” (an average female) will have the capability to understand and evaluate emotions better that “Mr. X” (an average male). So, if she applies these strengths (rather than trying to just push emotions away), females could more quickly move toward mastery.
“Increase Empathy” is another area where females are scoring higher – which aligns with typical societal expectations of female nurture. In the workplace, this translates to an important competitive advantage in the ability to influence and engage others.
Women thus have an important opportunity for creating added value and building workplaces where people thrive.