This is the third instalment in the Family Olympic saga. We decided to watch the Canadian women’s soccer team play for the Bronze medal so we didn’t start our run until just before noon. It was about 32 degrees, no breeze, and no shade on the rural Nova Scotia road that served as our running track. About half way, my body decided to show me what it thought about me running in the heat. My stomach started doing Olympic-style somersaults.

Now, the number one rule on these runs is that you can walk if you want to, but if a car comes by, you have to run so they don’t see you walk. So there I am, bent over on the side of the road, and my husband yells to me, “Here comes a car! Don’t let them see you puke!” I took off and finished the run without losing my breakfast on the side of the road.

When I’m coaching women, they often ask me whether I think it’s okay for them to cry. My answer is always the same, and it’s the title of a great book on the topic, which is, “If you have to cry, go outside.” The simple reason for this is that in a business environment, people often become uncomfortable when faced with an outpouring of emotion. Many of us don’t know what to say, what to do, or how to react. Remember the old saying, “People won’t remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel.”  If you make people feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, they’ll remember it.

The other key is to remember that when women show excess emotion in the office, we’re perceived more critically than when men show emotion. All the assumption made about us are definitely NOT the ones we want to have made. Sure, you’ll feel those emotions, and for a variety of reasons, including women having larger tear ducts than men, the tears may flow. Excuse yourself, call a break, or change the subject before the waterfall lets loose. It might not be fair, but you’ll be glad in the end.

Not sure you believe me? Take this test. What’s your first gut reaction and judgement when you see photos of these two famous politicians crying?

Hilary Clinton

Barack Obama

Runner Photo credit : tomaszd


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2 responses to “Never let them see you puke!”

  1. Marguerite Orane Avatar
    Marguerite Orane

    That’s what washrooms are for – to head to when you feel like crying. Or laughing. So, I advise my clients to say “Excuse me, I have to go to the washroom” (no-one will deny you that) and then head there. Close the door. CRY and then LAUGH at how ridiculous the whole situation is. Often when you are brought to tears at work, it’s typically someone flexing their EGO muscles. And you can always find something to laugh about that (in private). After the laugh, take a deep breath and head back with your inner smile.

  2. Great advice Marguerite! Especially the ‘take a deep breath’ part.

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