Being emotional isn’t a sign of weakness

THERE have been various unfounded beliefs about women; so many stereotypes; usually negative, especially when It comes to issues about women’s emotional balance and maturity. These unfounded beliefs are the basis for many unplanned and societal approved infringements over time.

Indeed, many of these beliefs are the bedrock of damaging myths and cultural bias that causes undermining policies and decision making that affects women in various spheres of life; social, family, professional, economic and even political.

There is an erroneous belief across the world that women have weak emotions and are temperamental. People hold the belief that women’s emotional balance is weak and  this undermines their ability to make moral and valid decisions.

In today’s world, especially in Africa where patriarchy is a way of life, women are seen as inferior to men in every way. They are said to basically make decisions based on emotions rather than logic and are seen to be incapable of making important decisions.

However, this belief is erroneous and fallacious; countless researches have shown that women are not in any way more emotional than men and are, despite their perceived emotions, good decision makers and good managers. Also, it is said that contrary to belief that women cannot make sound moral judgments, they are indeed more prone than men to take solid moral stance on issues due to their openness to strong emotions of guilt and shame.

A research by Sarah Ward, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Columbia Business School and her collaborator, Laura King, investigated the concept of  whether women’s higher propensity to experience morally relevant emotions like guilt and shame, lead them to have lower intentions to engage in immoral behaviours than men, who are less inclined to experience these emotions? It was discovered that aside the early debates regarding the distinct considerations men and women have when making moral judgments; gender differences in morality have received limited attention within psychology.

Indeed, several studies within the organisational scope indicate that compared to men, women had lower intentions to engage in morally questionable actions that provide personal or professional advantages but cause abstract harm.

It is said that women do not lie or bend rules during negotiations in the favour of the unqualified like men as the percentage is lower to that of their male counterparts. Women’s lower intentions to engage in immoral behaviours would be explained by their higher experience of guilt and shame when imagining these actions.

Women should stop allowing the cultural bias of perceived emotional weakness limit them, they need to open their minds to explore their potentials as it has been proven that despite all, women are known to be able to multi task and work towards deadlines while taking logical moral and management decisions.

While emotion account for gender differences in decision-making, women have been discovered to exhibit lower intentions to engage in immoral behaviours than men in control groups, even after being kept in situations where they have to ignore their emotions.

Over time, we have all been told to be logical and use our head and not our heart in rational decision making.  But the truth is that emotions aren’t there to just distract us, they have a role to play. When we intellectually evaluate a problem without our emotions; we may be missing a critical message from the subconscious brain.

Jonah Lehrer in an audio book entitled “How We Decide,” said there are psychological pathways that lead us to make good or bad decisions because emotions can be a great source of intuition. According to him, the brain can see patterns we aren’t even aware of and this information translates into a feeling or emotional buzz that may be the body’s way of telling you there’s a problem.

Feelings can be red flags telling you to pay attention. It is dangerous to discredit them because they aren’t supported by the kind of logic you were taught.

Emotions have a huge role to play in decision making. Rational, unemotional, intellectual evaluation is not always the best path to making a good decision. Being emotional does not make us weak or bad decision makers, emotion well utilisaed leads to better decisions.


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