Archive for the ‘Confidence’ Category

Service of Conflicting Loyalties

Monday, April 22nd, 2024

We’re often confronted with allegiances that bump up against one another. I’m rewatching a series on Netflix, “Virgin River.” In it, a person with terminal cancer has asked her best friend’s husband [a doctor], and other close friends to let her tell her best friend about her diagnosis. Trouble is that this woman is on a trip, and she is devastated when her friend dies while she’s still away and nobody has told her of the serious illness out of loyalty to the wishes of the sick person.

At least three times officemates who were crucial to the running of a magazine or PR agency at which we were both employed, told me that they would soon be giving notice and to please keep it quiet. I always did.

A friend was annoyed when her husband wouldn’t tell her anything about a case the jury he was on was determining a verdict because he’d been told not to discuss the case with anyone.

It’s important to be clear when your news is not to be shared. If the person is married, I think that it should be OK, if the spouse is trustworthy, to give that partner a pass on the embargo. It’s ideal not to create potential friction as a result of your request for secrecy.

Have you been put in an uncomfortable position when asked not to discuss a situation with anyone? Have you asked not to hear the confidence? Have you asked others to honor your secret?

Service of Confidence

Monday, December 4th, 2023

Greeters at the first Society of Illustrators Craft Fair were welcoming and showed plenty of confidence.

I attended an annual meeting of New York Women in Communications last week. A panelist, Joanna Coles, said something I’ve heard or observed before that nevertheless resonated. The former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan and Hearst’s chief content officer from 2016-2018 pointed out the difference between men and women when, for example, technology, during a presentation, goes splat. A man might say, “that f-ing thing is broken.” A woman might get all flustered and mumble that she is terrible at all things technical.

I noticed a close cousin of that insecure behavior at the first holiday craft fair at The Society of Illustrators in NYC on Saturday. It took place in the society’s charming East 63rd Street townhouse. Most of the tabletop displays were staffed by women. I stopped by each one over three floors. Some female artists greeted me or smiled. Most sat silently on their chairs behind the tables or ignored me as they adjusted something in their display. Yet every man engaged me in conversation. Whose work do you think I remember most?

Just saying.

Are you surprised that these examples of reticence and lack of confidence continue to exist for some talented women? Do you have other examples?

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