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Anu Shah

Anu Shah is cofounder and CEO of UShift, a Rocket Internet company offering an on-demand staffing platform aiming to make it easier for businesses to post jobs and get matched with qualified and skilled workers looking for temporary work.

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No It’s Not Crazy and Hysterical to Express Yourself Ladies!

Unfortunately, when a woman flies off the handle, she is perceived as being hysterical, or unstable –– men are never quite accused of this.

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One of my professional carnal rules is to never lose control over my emotions. I drum this into women in business constantly. 

The minute you lose your head, you lose your power. Unfortunately, when a woman flies off the handle, she is perceived as being hysterical, or unstable –– men are never quite accused of this. Perhaps as a bully or dictator, but never as a crazy person.

We saw this unfold over the weekend with Serena Williams at the US Open. There’s a clear double standard in the way we talk about behavior in sports. It’s routine for a man to argue calls, but when a woman does it, it’s the “mother of all meltdowns". However, the double standard is an important lesson for women to consider in all areas of our life. The one thing I tell women is to never respond emotionally. Don’t ever show them the anger, frustration, or the hurt. The minute you respond emotionally in a work situation or in this case, in the finals of one of the largest games in history, they steal your power.

I say that to women all across the board. Anytime you lose your control over yourself, you lose a piece of your leverage. That’s what people want, but if you don’t take the bait, you maintain your control by showing them they have not gotten to you.

Although I do think Serena William was unfairly treated this weekend, I do believe that she would have been more effective if she had walked up to the umpire and communicated her grievance in a stern controlled manner practicing restraint and not emotional outrage. As Billie Jean King put it, "When a woman is emotional, she’s ‘hysterical’ and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s ‘outspoken’ & and there are no repercussions." The double standard is an unfortunate aspect of our lives as women for the time being, and until society as a whole changes to reflect the equality that is due, it's even more critical that we as women not give in to what's "expected" of us. It doesn't make it fair, but it is reality. For the record, I think self-control should be implemented across the board for men and women alike, I just know that we have to expect we will inevitably be judged more harshly than our male counterparts. Yelling dilutes us and it robs us of our respect. Don't let others win and keep your cool. I work on it every day.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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