Women are emotional creatures.
There. I said it. Most of us women are driven by emotions. Most men are not. It’s neither right nor wrong; it just is.
Because women are emotional creatures, we can tend to let feelings get in the way of logic and reasoning. We females can see others’ problems and the solution. But when it’s our own problem, emotions can cloud our judgement. This leaves men scratching their heads because they can’t understand what the big deal is and why we complicate things.
We tend to bring in thoughts and emotions about how much time we invested in a relationship, the amount of trust we’d built up, how someone that we trusted couldn’t possibly do something like that to us, and we believe the person when s/he says that s/he will fix the problem because, well, we built up trust in that person, right?
This is why you can see that your best friend is dating an idiot, or your mom is being taken advantage of by a so-called friend, or your co-worker is having the wool pulled over her eyes by a business colleague she’s known for years.
You can see all of these things. But they can’t. Because emotions are involved. We’re driven by emotions. The tables get turned when it’s your own problems that you can’t see, but others can.
When my clients are stuck in a holding pattern and can’t remove the emotion out of the decision, I recommend that they list out a timeline of interactions.
When you have to put something like this together, words somehow make the situation look different…a little clearer. If you have to piece things together from memory and not just copy/paste from email, you tend to just hit the highlights, which gets you closer to the meat and potatoes that you really need to look at.
You can see patterns – of unfulfilled obligations, broken promises, and – sometimes – lies, or maybe even the source of miscommunication. You can see the other person’s behavior and responses, as well as yours. Sometimes we discover that the problem stems from something that we did, which exacerbated a situation. And sometimes we find that the other person has created a very negative situation.
Using this timeline, you can tell yourself, “I see this pattern of XYZ because it happened on these dates. Things are not going to change with the other person, so I need to be the one to make the change.”
When you remove emotion and instead rely on logic, a tough decision can be made easier – and justifiable – by outlining what’s happened.
If you’d like to see a sample of what I’m talking about, you can read my log here. I had to practice what I preach! I hadn’t received payment due to me by a business associate for two separate contracted jobs. The total amount added up to the equivalent of four of my mortgage payments.
I slipped into female mode – being driven by emotions – instead of business mode. I thought, “This person has never skipped payment.” “I’ve known this person for two years.” “She’s really sweet. Surely she would never allow this to happen.”
But when I started pulling summaries from our email communication and listing dates, I was able to see the pattern: “I’ve sent payment, I’ve sent payment, I’ve sent payment.” When I went back and counted out the number of days, it really hit me how long this was taking to get resolved. I was also not able to detect a sense of urgency on the agent’s part. If this had been me owing money to somebody, I would’ve been sorting things out as quickly as possible in order to get the person paid. Because I was able to look at this situation logically instead of emotionally, I was able to make a decision to move forward with a collections letter.
When she received the collections letter and said that she decided to stop payment on what she said was a payment she’d ordered for me, I had to again rely on logic to decide what to do next. Since the amount was under $10,000, this matter would have to be settled in small claims court. I would be required to file the complaint in Dallas, where this agent operates from. The emotional, angry part of me wanted to start the proceedings right away. But this is where logic needed to come in. I looked at how much time and money I would spend hiring a lawyer, commuting to court, and how much income I would lose out on during those periods. I looked at the emotional strain I would most likely experience. In the end, I decided that – logically – it would not be worth it to pursue a legal claim, which is why I took the advice of one of my business advisers and offered her the payment plan that you’ll see in the log.
The saga started on September 14, 2016. Today is February 7, 2017. She has only paid one-third of what she owes me. I have accepted the fact that the other two-thirds will probably never be collected. While I’d be totally fine with the powers that be if I don’t have to experience ugly situations like this one in order to learn lessons, I do want to make lemonade out of lemons, so…here’s what I’ve learned:
the importance of iron-clad contracts that protect me in any situation;
the costly toll that stress takes on a person, which is why its removal needs to happen ASAP;
the patience needed to accept when a situation doesn’t get resolved in the way that I want it to;
the hope that karma exists.
Am I sad that someone has withheld what is rightfully due to me? You bet. But since negative emotions are taxing, I’ve acknowledged that this has happened, that there’s no logical “next step” to take, and that I instead need to focus on the positive people and projects that I have in my life. By nurturing those people and projects, good things have been coming.
Logic makes unpleasant decisions easier.