Getting Your Feelings Hurt in Business

woman looking serious using the computer
Donald Trump has a great saying, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” I’ve seen women professionally devastated by hurt feelings. I believe that businesswomen can shoot themselves in the professional foot by taking situations and comments too personally, especially if the comments are from friends or family.

Here’s what I believe: Women take rejection personally because our relationships are very important and personal to us. It doesn’t matter if the relationship is a personal or professional one –it’s still a relationship, so it is important.

As successful women in business, how can we separate personal feelings from business – especially if it involves a friend or family member?

1. Step back and take the emotion out of the situation. I know, that is easier said than done. Take a minute to take a deep breath and think logically before you do or say anything.

2. Ask questions. Understanding the reasoning behind the words that were said or the actions taken, can prove to be very insightful.

3. Remember too that friends and family don’t always see us as an expert. It is often difficult to mix business with friendship and family. Sad to say but friends often take our skills and talents for granted and many times, have a difficult time separating the “friend” from the “expert.”

4. What’s more important to you, the relationship or the business? There are times when you need to step back and reassess your priorities – do you want to keep the relationship or gain a client/customer?

5. Maybe others just don’t understand exactly what you do. I’ve found that we often assume that our friends and family know what we do and in reality, they don’t have a clue. Make sure your friends know and understand your products and services?

6. Do friends believe that you’re taking your business seriously? Many of us grew up hearing that we should not “brag” about ourselves. Now, as an adult, we don’t talk much about our accomplishments. Maybe that lack of “bragging” leads to a misunderstanding among our friends that we’re not taking our business seriously. Maybe to others our business seems more like a hobby than a business. Take a good hard look at yourself – do you come across as a serious businessperson?

7. Remind yourself that it is just business and not a refection of your self-worth. Coming from a place of personal empowerment helps to separate emotions from logic. The healthier your self-esteem, the less likely you are to take rejection personally.

When we can step back and assess the situation from a position of personal and professional empowerment, we are able to emotionally give ourselves the power to succeed. It is important to be able to separate personal feelings from business success because after all, “It’s not personal, it’s business.”


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This article, written by Sharon Michaels, first appeared on in the Business Coach section.
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One Comment

  1. Posted 06/11/2012 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I love your comment that “it’s just business and does not reflect your self worth”. I truly believe that we are not our bodies, or our jobs or our responsibilities. Most couples have arguments because of the emotions, if the emotions are removed they it becomes a disagreement versus an argument. Before I got in to hair salon training, I worked in the corporate worlde for many years and witnessed this very issue too many times.