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My–Female–Bosses are Intolerable

This is Kai writing from Toronto, Canada.

I am a male, currently in a confrontational struggle at work. I just transitioned to a new position in another team in the same company, but I am finding it really hard to get along with the three managers and one director above me, who are all women.

I just cannot stand the way they’re talking to me, even my wife never talked to me like that. I feel anger and I sometimes argue with them. It may be my personality, but I am just tired of working for women who are so demanding, rushed and worried all the time. I am perfectly fine working with women or with women working for me.

I like this company since I have been here six years. I am not sure if I should change my job or stay. I am not happy working in this job, I have no passion at all.

I appreciate your time.

Kai

Dear Kai,

From your letter we can’t tell which of the following scenarios is closest to the truth:

  1. Your female bosses are difficult and unpleasant employers, possibly with a prejudice against men that reveals itself in how they interact with you.
  2. You are uncomfortable with serving under the leadership of women and are becoming a difficult and unpleasant employee.
  3. The truth lies somewhere in between.

Although it is wildly unpopular in today’s culture, there is a little-known fact which might make you feel better although it is not of much practical help.  This controversial fact is that it is perfectly normal and perfectly natural for a man to feel uncomfortable being issued directions by a woman. In many cultures, men have been indoctrinated to believe that this feeling is a primitive throwback to tribal ancestry and that it must be firmly suppressed.  Nonetheless, it is real and will undoubtedly eventually create serious problems in the modern military and in other hierarchies in which women occupy high rank. It is possible that this lies at the root of your unhappiness but, as we say, it is irrelevant. You are going to have to find a way to function or your employment there must surely terminate.

If your bosses are not asking you to do something inappropriate and are not speaking to you in a way that goes against company policy, we don’t see that you have any recourse. We assume that requesting to transfer back to your previous position is not viable. What we can say is that the status quo isn’t working.

As we see it, your only option is to change your reaction or change your job. As we are sure you have learned in other areas of your life, you cannot change others, you can only change yourself. If something doesn’t change, you may not have the luxury of deciding whether or not to seek a new job as you will be demoted or let go. If you are fired, you will be in a poorer position to find a new job than if you proactively search for one while still working.

While it is somewhat possible that the only reason these women are in their position is because the company needed to show women in management, that isn’t very likely. There is probably a great deal you can learn from them if you allow yourself to do so. What can you admire about their skill set? Focus on that rather than on the style that upsets you. Not only will you get a feeling of satisfaction at attaining new skills, but you will be more employable should you decide to search for work elsewhere.

Kai, we would encourage you to broaden your self-analysis. Anger is a common and an understandable reaction when we face disagreeable situations. However, it isn’t a very effective response and usually backfires. Walking into work each day expecting to spend the day full of resentment leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is it possible that you are dissatisfied in other areas of your life and that is making your work interactions more toxic? We were perturbed by your statement that they speak to you in a way that “even” your wife doesn’t. Are you accustomed to a lack of respect from your wife? Do you treat your wife with respect? Would it be useful in general for you to learn some new techniques for dealing with difficult situations?

Having worked successfully in this company for six years, this must be a frustrating and disappointing experience. It is up to you to adjust and make it work in the best way possible.

Wishing you future joy in work,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin


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Spiritual but Shoeless

When I was seven, my parents signed me up for swimming lessons which I dutifully attended. For the first three days, the teacher discussed buoyancy, backstroke, and breathing.  We never even got into the water.  The next weekend my parents took us to a pool.

My father, eager to see what I had learned, asked me to demonstrate.  I explained that I would need a blackboard.   This did not impress my father.  He walked me to the deep end of the pool deck, picked me up and promptly threw me into the water. After a moment of shock, I began swimming.

This method of instruction, let alone fathering, may not be in favor today.  Personally, I remember feeling rather proud of how quickly I learned to swim.  But whatever you think of the methodology, there is a lesson to be learned. The best way to own new information is to apply it. Few of us would want to be operated on by a surgeon who aced his written exams but has never wielded a scalpel. There is a reason that driver education courses take place in the car as well as the classroom.

We need both theoretical and practical information.  One is mental and spiritual— in our heads.  The second, the application of that information, is usually physical and occurs in our interface with the earth and the physical reality it represents.

The mathematics and physics in the head of Sir Gilbert Roberts, designer of the Bosphorus Bridge, is spiritual information.  When the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company then linked two continents with a delicate web of steel, it was practical, physical application.

We humans do best exquisitely balanced between spiritual and physical, suspended between heaven and earth.  We must connect to heaven but not to the extent of losing touch with earth.  Such people pray all day and neglect their jobs and families.

Likewise, we must connect to reality—the earth—but not so overly connected that we start ignoring spiritual truth.  Such people squander their lives in hedonism.

Even animals deemed kosher and suitable as food follow this principle.

Kosher animals must have a hoof lifting them off the ground, giving them a touch of spirituality, so to speak. However, if they are utterly isolated from the ground by having a solid hoof, like a horse, for instance, the animal is not kosher.

All who have a split hoof… you shall eat.
(Leviticus 11:3)

 Ancient Jewish wisdom places great emphasis on shoes, the human equivalent of hooves. They serve to distance us slightly from the earth and the suggestion is made that even valuable assets, if necessary, should be sold in order to afford shoes.

However, we must never lose all touch with the physical world. When God called upon Moses, thus lifting him far into the heavenly realm, shoes prevented necessary contact with the earth. So God said:

 …take off your shoes from your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.(Exodus 3:5)

The Permanent Principle is that as God’s children we must not live floating in heaven, disconnected from reality, nor should we live anchored to earth and incapable of soaring to spiritual heights.  Instead, we must live between heaven and earth—within reach of both but locked to neither.

We need the spiritual as well as the physical; we need information and we need to be accomplished at applying that information in the real world.  Knowing medicine but refusing to heal would be an aberration.  Knowing business principles but refusing to serve the needs of customers would be equally aberrant.

Like swimming, driving and surgery, learning about something doesn’t mean being able to do it.  First attempts to apply the knowledge may be faltering and clumsy. But anything worthwhile in life requires effort and work.


Financial Book Package

Thou Shall Prosper & Business Secrets from the Bible
On Sale this week for $35

Build on spiritual principles for business with Rabbi Daniel Lapin’s two best-selling books. The tools imparted will equip you to transform and continue toward success even in the face of fear and uncertainty.

Join the Ben & Jerry Boycott?

Unlike many people I know, I am not going to start boycotting Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. There has been quite a brouhaha in the conservative and Jewish media I follow, stemming from the ice cream company’s decision not to sell its wares in parts of Israel. While I don’t champion their decision, I can’t start boycotting because I have not been buying Ben and Jerry’s ice cream since the 1990s.

My personal boycott started when one of our daughters heard either Ben or Jerry (I don’t remember which one it was) speak at a conference that took place during the Gulf War. She was appalled at the venom he spewed against our military. While it would have been utterly acceptable to oppose American intervention, he instead wished violent repercussions on the American soldiers themselves. With that, my cravings for Fudge Brownie ice cream ended.

Ben & Jerry’s love affair with socialism and their anti-American leanings have never been a secret. I admit to a certain irritation at those who are “shocked, simply shocked” at this latest manifestation of their political views. Some people simply weren’t paying attention.

My boycott was a private decision made so that I could look at myself in the mirror. My principled ground is shaky; I use many products from companies who meddle in politics in ways that I consider damaging to civilization and  in opposition to Godly views. One of my friends draws her private line by not patronizing Starbucks while another has given up using Facebook. Each of us makes our own decisions. Without retreating to a self-sufficient and secluded homestead, it’s almost impossible not to patronize businesses that encourage immoral and harmful positions. My friends and I are aware that we are bailing out a swimming pool with a teaspoon. Yet, we think taking even these limited and somewhat futile steps is worthwhile if only to remind ourselves how easy it is to become accustomed to distorted ideas. 

The Ben & Jerry boycott, as well as the rising concern of Asian parents whose children are being discriminated against in education, and the objections of workers whose jobs are being threatened if they don’t vaccinate, share a commonality. As long as we have cultural myopia, focusing only on what affects us and those in “our immediate group,” we move further down the road to a dismal future that will hurt all good and freedom-loving people. To paraphrase Pastor Martin Niemöller’s famous words:

First they came for the white Evangelicals, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a white Evangelical.

Then they came for the male college students, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a male college student.

Then they came for the business owners, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a business owner.

Then they came for black conservatives, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a black conservative.

Then they came for the Trump supporters, and I did not speak out—
because I was not a Trump supporter.

Then they came for me—
and there was no one left to speak for me.

The potential stanzas could go on and on, but a society’s timeline does not.


20% Discount – Biblical Blueprint Set

This week our Biblical Blueprints Set is 20% off. These five CDs cover topics including how our speech affects our business lives and social relationships; whether the Ten Commandments have a deeper meaning than most of us realize; why we need to decide whether to relate to time in the way of Israel or of Greece; how to rid our souls of psychological baggage; and what steps we can take to break out of our troubles. Available as a 5-CD Set or as Instant Downloads.

We Happy Warriors has an App!

You can now get all of our We Happy Warrior’s content right on your phone. All you need to do is head over to https://pages.kajabi.com/mobile-app-download and download the free Kajabi app.

Kajabi is the platform we use to host our online course content and membership programs, as well as our entire digital library of content.

Once you download the free app, go ahead and sign in with the email you use for the We Happy Warriors courses and content, and that’s it!  You can also see step-by-step instructions in our FAQs here.

With the new mobile app feature, you’ll be able to read or watch all of our online courses right from your phone. The app also automatically saves your progress, even when you switch between sessions and devices.

Go ahead and download the app and you’ll have We Happy Warriors right in your pocket!

No Good Men?

So how do I get married?

Question of the week:

I’m a 37yr old female, my only daughter is almost 18yrs. I’m not married and I would like to meet someone serious enough for marriage.

Most men find independent women intimidating or some want to be taken care of as if they are children rather than taking the position of a provider. I’m very old school and find the whole dating thing difficult especially when most men are only interested in having sex with no intentions to marry.

I left the father of my daughter after realizing that he has no intention of getting employment and he will always depend on me to support him financially. We were together for 17yrs and he has never been employed during all this time.

My question is how to get the right man and how are such men still available?

Grace K.

Dear Grace,

If you have listened either to my (RDL’s) podcast or to our television show on TCT, you may have heard us say that we don’t see our job as massaging our listeners and viewers with warm butter. The same is true for our responses to those who write to us.

It sounds like you endured nearly twenty years of an unfulfilling relationship. The effects of that don’t end when the relationship ends.  We are guessing that this was never a marriage which makes it all a little more understandable though no more pleasant.  While your emotions and reaction are to be expected, we suggest that before you look for the right man, or become capable of recognizing him, you need to work on getting yourself psychologically, spiritually and emotionally healthy. In other words, we are suggesting that becoming the right woman is the indispensable first step in finding the right man.

May we ask you to reread your second paragraph above? You may have good reasons to dislike and distrust some men, but if most men are  as you describe them, then you are not yet ready to meet a good one. In your worldview, they barely exist.

This is especially important because you have a daughter who is herself not far off from meeting a mate and has been watching you for years and continues to watch you. What a gift you will be giving her in terms of her future relationships if she can see you work on yourself until you have a less jaundiced view of men and marriage.

It is very important to know yourself before you can welcome someone else into your life. Without knowing any more about you than what you wrote to us, we can almost guarantee that you weren’t blameless in your partner’s behavior. While he is responsible for failing the marriage, before you can move on you have to accept that you participated in the failure as well. We can’t tell you what you did wrong or failed to do right, but here are a few possibilities: Did you fall into the trap of treating him like a child? Were you respectful and honoring towards him both privately and in front of your daughter? Were you okay with supporting him when you got married? What was the plan back then? What kept you in the relationship for 17 years and did you seek guidance and advice during that time? Please understand that if your daughter has learned over the years to despise her father and other men, then she too would greatly benefit from guidance.

We understand the desire to be in a wonderful marriage where you can receive the nurturing and affection that you have lacked for so long. The real world, however, doesn’t work like that. You first need to abandon the negative patterns and thoughts that have absorbed you for so long and only then can you open yourself to receiving new ways of thinking and acting that will allow you to build  the relationship you so strongly desire.

You articulate your question in terms of “How do I get the right man?” This sounds a lot like someone saying “How do I get a Maserati?” or “How do I get a mansion?” There are important  differences between mansions and Maseratis on the one hand and men on the other.  While mansions and motor cars are passive objects and can thus be ‘gotten’, men are not objects and have a say in whether they are ‘gotten’. Furthermore, most men actually prefer to do the getting than to be ‘gotten’.

So it might be worth exploring how comfortable you are with rephrasing your question from “How do I get the right man” to “How do I attract the right man?”

We advise you to find a faith family where you see models of the type of marriage you want to have. Slowly and carefully pay attention to the way the men and women interact. Once you have taken the time to make sure you trust the community, see if the leadership can guide you to counseling. Be a giver in the community and work to develop friendships with those who can be models for you.

Wishing you exciting and transformational times that will lead to a blessed marriage with the right man.

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin


20% Discount – Biblical Blueprint Set

This week our Biblical Blueprints Set is 20% off. These five CDs cover topics including how our speech affects our business lives and social relationships; whether the Ten Commandments have a deeper meaning than most of us realize; why we need to decide whether to relate to time in the way of Israel or of Greece; how to rid our souls of psychological baggage; and what steps we can take to break out of our troubles. Available as a 5-CD Set or as Instant Downloads.

We Happy Warriors has an App!

You can now get all of our We Happy Warrior’s content right on your phone. All you need to do is head over to https://pages.kajabi.com/mobile-app-download and download the free Kajabi app.

Kajabi is the platform we use to host our online course content and membership programs, as well as our entire digital library of content.

Once you download the free app, go ahead and sign in with the email you use for the We Happy Warriors courses and content, and that’s it!  You can also see step-by-step instructions in our FAQs here.

With the new mobile app feature, you’ll be able to read or watch all of our online courses right from your phone. The app also automatically saves your progress, even when you switch between sessions and devices.

Go ahead and download the app and you’ll have We Happy Warriors right in your pocket!

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