The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Be Your Own Worst Enemy …

There have been times in my career where I’ve chosen the wrong path.

What makes this crazy is that there have been times where I knew I was but still went ahead with it.

Nothing bad.

Nothing illegal.

But, according to others, it was the wrong thing to do.

Now this is not because I have a death wish or want to cause trouble … it’s because a situation or certain circumstances occurred that just triggered something in me.

Good and bad.

And while – with hindsight – I know I could have handled ‘how’ I dealt with some of those situations differently, I absolutely don’t regret ‘why’ I did it … even if that led to some people labelling me as being ‘too emotional’.

Too emotional is a horrible phrase.

It aims to shame people for who they are and what they believe.

What is worse is that it is often expressed by people who have an inability to show any emotion towards anything, so act as if it is some sort of human flaw.

A fundamental weakness.

Let me be very clear, being able to express your emotions is a strength.

It’s healthy.

It’s positive.

It’s also a sign you give a fuck.

Whether that is about work, standards or other people.

Now I appreciate that doesn’t mean you can use it as an excuse to abuse others or act like you’re some sort of megalomaniac diva.

Nor do I think that just because something triggered your emotions, it means your perspective is automatically correct.

And then there’s the fact there will be times or situations where you need to restrain your emotions to a time – or place – where it is more appropriate to let out. Let’s face it, no one wants a surgeon to have an emotional outburst mid-operation just because someone handed them the scalpel in a sloppy way.

But expressing your emotions is important.

It should absolutely never be treated as doing something wrong.

Especially in the creative industry, where our goal is to literally make people feel something.

So if anyone ever say’s, “you’re too emotional”, don’t just take it.

It’s the sort of comment that – if allowed to fester – can chip away at your confidence.

Often uttered by senior figures in a company who want employees to think, act and behave exactly like them rather than embrace differences of opinion or brand new thinking … which is ironic, given that’s the main way companies can evolve and grow.

So if faced with that situation, ask them what they mean by their comment?

Put it back on them to explain.

Half the time you’ll find it is simply because they don’t like conflict.

Or an alternative perspective.

And that’s when you explain why the situation has made you feel the way it has.

Why you believe it shouldn’t just be brushed away.

Not because you’re an egomaniac who wants whatever they choose, but because you see possible implications that could have a terrible effect on the work or the company or the team at large.

Because even the person you’re discussing this with doesn’t feel it or see it as being important, doesn’t mean it isn’t … which at the very least should justify a conversation about it, especially if you feel so strongly about it.

But, as I said, there may be occasions where you will look back on how you reacted and feel you could have done it another way.

Note I said ‘how’ you reacted, not ‘why’ you did.

And that’s why it’s important to always learn from these incidents.

Discover what pushes your buttons.

Understand what you expect from yourself and others.

Reveal what standards you will and will not tolerate.

Not so you can deny or suppress your emotions in the future, but so if another situation arises, you can express your emotions in a way that will change the outcome you are responding to rather than just reacting to it.

And when you get to that point, that’s when you find being ‘too emotional’ is a superpower.

So while the guy in the video is being his own worst enemy for the worst of reasons, expressing your emotions never is.

Because regardless what some may claim, they are a sign of strength, never weakness.

It’s another long weekend here in the UK, I hope you have a good one and a safe one.

See you Tuesday.

23 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Nothing illegal? You sure?
Good post though Rob.

Comment by Bazza

Did you take that video? That’s a serious question.

Comment by Bazza

Ha … no, but I know why you thought I could have.

Comment by Rob

We’ve met your friends. We all know why Baz thought it could be.

Comment by Pete

for friends you mean drunken twats?

Comment by andy@cynic

I would also question Robert’s definition of “nothing bad.”

Comment by George

My illegal behaviour has never been to do with work – except maybe that cab-charge incident – so I feel justified in making that claim.

However to George’s point regarding ‘nothing bad’ … I now accept he definitely has a point. Unfortunately.

Comment by Rob

I am glad you have clarified your position. The evidence was stacked against you.

I don’t know the cab charge incident. Not sure I want to. ; )

Comment by Pete

No. I don’t think I want to bring that up. At least not in print. Hahahaha

Comment by Rob

This is an excellent post Robert. “Too emotional” is a horrible turn of phrase. Who sets the limits on how emotional you can be? It is a control or manipulation tactic, however I will await Jemma to validate this opinion.

Comment by George

I should run all posts by Jemma before posting them, ha,

Thanks for the nice words. It absolutely is a control and/or manipulation technique. They may not mean it as such, but that doesn’t make it any better. To the recipient – and I’ve definitely been one – it makes them feel there is something wrong with their character … that they, as a person, are not good enough.

It can affect them hugely. Undermining their self confidence that undermines their career.

Now, as I said in the post, just because you thought your actions were right, doesn’t automatically mean they were … but by the same token, being labelled ‘too emotional’ is never the right term to label at a colleague. Unless you want to appear in corporate gaslighting stories.

Comment by Rob

Both comments pass.
Well done boys.


Comment by Jemma King


Comment by Bazza

pass. like a fucking c-

Comment by andy@cynic

This is so good Rob with great advice how to deal with people who are trying to give you that label.

As for the video…. I can’t stop watching it.

Comment by Pete

It’s epic hypnotic isn’t it.

Comment by Rob

Why does the video end with Tony Soprano in a pool?

Comment by John

have you been fucking been crying in a pitch again?

Comment by andy@cynic

Bloody hell, that’s a bit harsh.

And I did that once. And I was as surprised as everyone else was. And it was about how they were treating women versus a judgement on me and my work.

But they still didn’t give us the business. Pricks. Hahaha.

Comment by Rob

this post is alright campbell. for once in your fucking life.

Comment by andy@cynic

They don’t call him concrete tears Boucher for nothing.

Comment by DH


Comment by andy@cynic

Andrew. Remember those days I would pull up a chair to sit next to you and you would say “what?” but knew what I didn’t have to say? Your first comment deserves that. Looking forward to chatting tomorrow.

Comment by George

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