I met up with a few people for lunch a couple of weeks back* and among all the ramblings of random things, I heard this.
– She’s too emotional. That’s why I can’t work with her.
– She’s in a creative industry. She can’t be emotional.
– Yea she’s too intense.
To me, having emotions mean a lot of things which tell about a person who cares, what has made them, or broken them.
I was once recommended to meet with an agency boss who was looking for an account servicing person. She was telling me about how difficult it was for her to set up the agency and the challenges that were thrown her way. Then she asked me, “Are you here with your family?”. Out of nowhere, the most absurd thing happened to me, I burst out in teary eyes. She gave me a few minutes, handed me some tissue papers and said, “You must have been missing your family and holding up these emotions for so long that when I just asked about them now, it’s all coming out”. I didn’t come to the second interview (probably out of embarrassment) but thanks to that agency boss, I learnt that emotions can tell stories.
My ex-colleague went on a rampage and quit her job on the spot when her boss unintendedly under-appreciated her efforts. This could have also been said to be a case of low IQ; however, to me, it’s the indication of caring for the project personally. At the end of the day, all businesses are personal, aren’t’ they?
Perhaps, ‘can’t be emotional in a creative industry’ should be understood that because creative is subjective, one shouldn’t take criticism or unfavourable developments personally.
In advertising, or in any creative industry, in general, ain’t we always trying to trigger people’s emotions? Ads have always been created to make people happy, concerned, aware, excited or motivated. So why can’t the people who are involved in the process of making these ads get emotional, or be sensitive if she deeply cares for the work that she is producing? I actually think only people with strong personality will be willing to show their emotions and at times, emotions can be pretty …. interesting**.
I didn’t defend for the woman who was mentioned and I should really have. Somehow in that moment, I was more curious to hear how far people can misjudge a person. I was stuck in the state of figuring out whether that is human shortsightedness, arrogance or/and ignorance that made them say what they said.
If I could say something to E, I hope she won’t change. I hope she will find a better environment and surround herself with people who can support and value her just the way she is. And I hope she will find ‘friends’ who will get her back no matter how bad her days can get.