Women’s News: Are Successful Women Really Less Likable Than Successful Men?

Women’s News: Are Successful Women Really Less Likable Than Successful Men?

A Woman’s Story: 9 & 1/2 Things I’m Not Stressing Over Anymore

A Woman’s Story: 9 & 1/2 Things I’m Not Stressing Over Anymore

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator

A Message From The Creator


A Woman’s Story: 9 & 1/2 Things I’m Not Stressing Over Anymore


Kheadshotate Bratskeir

Associate Editor, Healthy Living

Something I find fascinating: You can literally throw awayyour negative thoughts. In a study done last November, participants were told write down their personal, invalidating beliefs on paper. Those who got to crumple their inner demons and dunk them a la NBA player Terrence Ross into a wastebasket (so maybe it wasn’t as dramatic, but I like to imagine) were less likely to be bogged down by their negativity.

Could the same be true for stressful thoughts?

As a GPS for the Soul editor — someone who reads, writes,Tweets and preaches about stress management all day — I have my own tools that work when stress rears its repugnant head. I know when it’s time to step away from the computer for a break. I’ve stored an arsenal ofpositive mantras if I’m ever in need of some uplifting perspective. All good. But this doesn’t mean I don’t stress.

So I wonder, could posting a blog on what I’ve resolved to no longer stress about diminish my worry, anxiety and — yes — stress? Once confronted and publically confessed, will the load be lifted (at least a little)?

Editors Sarah KleinMeredith Melnick and Amanda Chan all did it, and while I’m guessing they’re not cured of stress, they’re lighter for it. Here’s my go:

9 ½ Stressors I’m Crumpling Up and Dumping in the Trash

1. Being A “Good” Dancer.
I will never be a good dancer. This is an objective statement. I don’t move like Jagger, I can’t get low, please don’t ask me to drop it like it’s hot. But rather than lean against the wall and stress, I’m just going to enjoy the music and embrace my inner Elaine.

2. Running Solo.
For me, running is meditative and peaceful. I love the feeling of my mind clearing out, and when I’m back at the door from my morning loop there’s this indescribable lightness that embodies my entire physicality.

Running only becomes stressful when other people enter the equation: Some (looking at you, sisters) persist that I sign up for races to get better, faster, stronger. The few I have completed took me out of the moment: I focused on my pace, the feet in front me and the legs I was able to count as I passed. It’s not serene, it’s competitive — and that’s not the spirit of my running.

And, to their vocal chagrin (I’m sorry!), running with friends makes me self-conscious: Am I running too fast? Do I run kind of weird? Should I be embarrassed for listening to “Climax” on repeat? When I run, I want to be by my lonesome, taking in the sights through my own lens, and feeling the endorphins surge.

I’m opting out of feeling obliged to join anyone — friend or opponent — on a run. And I’m saying “no thanks” without the guilt.

Which brings me to number 2 ½ …

2 ½. Still Running Solo.
I’ve never been one to suffer from FOMO. If anything, I suffer from FOMFTIA (that’s Fear of My Friends Thinking I’m Antisocial). I’m incredibly lucky to have such a loving pack who care to spend time with me, but there are moments, once again, that I prefer being on my own. And there lies the pressure — hence the stressor — of being cajoled to join in the fun. Here’s granting myself more permission to say “no” when an afternoon of reading a book, surfing the web (and being generally nerdy) or window shopping beats out the prospect of day-drinking by a landslide.

3. My Coffee Addiction.
Coffee has been described as a drug (aack!) that may raise your cholesterol, spike your blood pressure and lead to wide-awake nights.

And yet, coffee has been touted for its brilliance: It could lower the risk for depressioncancer and diabetesand it tastes like heaven (scientifically speaking).

So, whatever. The list of things I am not addicted to is a whole lot longer than the list of things to which I am. Science has a lot to work out about coffee, so in the meantime, just let me have this — jitters, shakes and all.

4. My Sense of Direction.
It’s bad, real bad. Once, on my four-hour trip home from college — upstate New York to Long Island — I ended up back at college … after four hours. Really. If I had a GPS surgically implanted it wouldn’t be the worst thing. And now in Manhattan, HopStop and I are in a semi-romantic relationship in lieu of a subway system that turns my brain inside-out. I used to stress about how I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere without technology. Now, instead of stress, I’m going to graciously accept all the help I can get.

5. Being Blind as a Bat.
Nearly every year, I get my eyes checked and my contact lens script raised. I have spent too much time being dramatic and upset over the possibility that I’ll one day not be able to see — realistically I know, it’s genetic, we are an appallingly near-sighted clan. From here on, I’m vowing to take in all the beauty that I have the privilege of looking at, and banking on that miraculous technology to fix my vision in the near future.

6. The Sentimental Things I’ve Lost.
My grandma’s turquoise pendant, that bracelet from an important boyfriend, a beloved, music-making stuffed animal — Lamby. The list goes on — items I’ve attached meaning to that are nowhere to be found. They weigh heavily on shelves inside my head. But as I’m regretting my careless misplacement of these things, I realize now, their memories — the meaningful parts — live right here, written down, typed up, catalogued in this very blog. Which means I haven’t lost these sentiments in the first place, and there’s not a reason to worry about all that’s unfound.

7. Pleasing Everyone at the Dinner Table.
In my experience, people treat vegetarians like strange, starving, picky burdens. I may be strange and picky, but starving I am most certainly not.

Others’ concerns for how I’ll navigate a restaurant menu (“We can’t go there,” “You won’t like this,” “Will this be enough for you?”) can no longer be of my concern.

Just a note: I’d do a jig for skirt steak salad with crumbled feta (sans skirt steak, please) and if it’s one of those bacon-and-brussels-sprout joints, I’m assertive enough to ask them to hold the pig. Don’t worry, people — be happy. I sure am, especially when I get the chance to dine out.

8. Keeping in Touch. 
Facebook has done wonders for keeping us connected, to a certain degree. For me, the upset is the conspicuous reminder that I’ve done a poor job of keeping tabs — other than the ones lining my browser — on the many magnificent people who’ve come into my life. Instead of tossing and turning awake, mentally listing the check-up emails that I should be crafting, it’s been decided — here and now — that people float in and out of your life in waves at the times they’re meant to.

9. My Five-Year Plan.
I have plenty of friends who are on a five-year-track: They know just where they want to be and have a neat itinerary for when what will happen and how. Not me.

I’m not sure where I’ll land down the line, but when I hear people recite their life plans like roll call, or they cock their head at me in that way when I say “I dunno,” to what’s next, well, it stresses me out. I value the unknown and I won’t stress about it — I’m looking forward to good things. I’m optimistic (and almost certain) that my dreams are malleable and will mold and mesh with the times. So I’ll let them.

Read More:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kate-bratskeir/stress-less_b_2862035.html?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

Women’s News: Are Successful Women Really Less Likable Than Successful Men?

Clinton bids farewell to the State Department in Washington

Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In is full of quotable lines: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”; “As women must be more empowered at work, men must be more empowered at home”; and so on. There’s one line in particular that jumped out at me and I felt compelled to follow up on: “As a man gets more successful, he is better liked by men and women, and as a woman gets more successful, she is less liked by men and women.”

It feels true. The ruthless, friendless lady-in-charge is a tired trope in pop culture and politics: c.f. Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada and Tracy Flick in Election, or President Obama’s infamous “You’re likable enough, Hillary” line from the 2008 primary.

But I wondered how true it actually is. After all, it’s easy to point to anecdotal rebuttals. Despite Obama’s primary-race condescension, Hillary Clinton’s approval rating when she stepped down as Secretary of Statewas higher than Obama’s. And there are plenty of wildly successful men whom many people cannot stand: Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, and Decision-era LeBron James come to mind.

Sandberg bases her claim on a variety of studies, especially an experiment conducted in 2003 with business students. The researchers presented the students with a story of a successful entrepreneur. They told half the students that the entrepreneur’s name was Heidi; they told the other half that it was Howard. Then they asked students their impressions of Heidi or Howard and discovered that though the participants rated them both as competent and worthy of respect,

Howard came across as a more appealing colleague. Heidi, on the other hand, was seen as selfish and not “the type of person you would want to hire or work for.” The same data with a single difference–gender–created vastly different impressions.

So, a bunch of relatively young people who were not members of the full-time workforce at the moment reacted skeptically to a theoretical successful female. Does that really mean that in practice, most workers object to real-life, flesh-and-blood female leaders?

Maybe not. A 2011 study published in Human Relations surveyed 60,000 full-time workers on their attitudes toward male versus female managers. At first, its conclusions seem to bolster Sandberg’s claim that people are more accepting of successful men than successful women: Of the 46 percent of respondents who expressed a preference for their boss’s gender, 72 percent said they wanted a male manager. But another aspect of the results highlights a flaw in the Heidi/Howard study: People who actually had female managers did not give them lower ratings than people who had male managers. That is, though many people preferred male managers in theory, in practice those gender biases did not play out.

There’s a precedent for this, of course. Humans tend to be opposed to changes in the status quo until they are forced, through experience, to see that change isn’t such a big deal. Marriage equality advocates have learned this lesson well. Before last fall’s string of ballot victories, pro-gay marriage groups ran ads depicting happy, committed gay couples and testimonies from “straight, respected people from unexpected corners of the community, like a firefighter in Maine,” as theNew York Times put it. These ads reflected the understanding that for some people, same-sex marriage may be scary in theory, but once they get to know real gay couples, it’s not scary at all–it’s actually desirable.

It looks like this is happening, and will continue to happen, with female leaders. Yes, we’re all probably conditioned in some way to expect men to be calm, stable, and competent and women to be shrill, mean, and emotional. But as soon as we experience an inspiring female boss (or a deadbeat male one), we see stereotypes for what they are.

Read More:  http://www.theatlantic.com/sexes/archive/2013/03/are-successful-women-really-less-likable-than-successful-men/273926/?utm_hp_ref=women&ir=Women

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