How to not be scared of Old White Men!
February 13, 2012 8:04 AM Subscribe
How to deal with my unconscious anxiety response to older, male supervisors?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I work as a freelancer in a field where the standard contract is short term, collaborative group projects under a highly involved manager. I've noticed recently that, when that manager is female, I am generally creative, comfortable, happy to speak up, and generally successful. When that manager is male, however, especially white and of a certain age, I've noticed in myself a tendency to be very worried about their opinion of me, anxious to please, nervous, and deferential, which in turn stunts my creativity, my ability to take creative risks, and my confidence. This has what I perceive to be a BIG impact on my work performance.
I do not, I should add, believe that these men are pressuring me (at least, not unreasonably) or behaving badly towards me in any way, and other members of our teams have often responded to these male managers very well.
Before you tell me to seek out a therapist, I AM seeing one and we are working to get to the root of this tendency, but in the mean time, I'm curious to know if anyone has any techniques to recommend that deal with this specific kind of anxiety?
Relevant details: I'm female, late 20s, living in a large city. I am generally considered to be quite successful in my field.