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Do women just worry more?

Categories: Money, Your life


According to a recent study women are much more stressed about the economy than men. One of the reasons may be that many more women are now in charge of making major household decisions, including managing money. If you’re the one looking at your plummeting 401k or increasing grocery or mortgage bills it makes sense that you’d be more stressed out and anxious about the difficult economic times we’re in.

But I think there’s something else at work. I think as women, we just worry more. Period.

Take me and my husband, for example. I am completely freaked out about the economy. Sure, I am the one who manages our finances - although we make big decisions together - so you could say I am closer to it and more anxious. But I also have a lot of background in finance, I understand what’s happening, and the last time we went through a downturn like this, I was in the midst of it in the financial industry. In my rational mind, I know this is horrible, but we will come out of it, the cycle will change, and things will get better. But I still worry and I am still freaked out.

Compare this to my dear husband, who sure, is anxious, but nowhere near as much. And this is true for pretty much everything else. When I daughter wouldn’t sleep or eat when she was an infant, I was losing my mind and he was calmly looking for solutions (and telling me, in the nicest way possible, to CHILL IT!) When the house which we were buying, having already signed a contract to sell our house, turned out to have major issues, I was going nuts and my husband told me not to worry.

I notice the same thing with most of our friends, parents, people I work with. As women, I think we’re born with this horribly annoying worry gene, and even the calmest ones worry more than the guys.

Do you agree? Or am I just a worry nut who thinks every other woman must be just like me in that department?

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12 comments so far...

  • Nope, you are not alone. You just described me and my husband verbatim.

    We actually got in a fight about this two nights ago and I had to go sleep in the guest bedroom or I would have strangled him in his sleep.

    Good times… Good times!

    Darcie  |  October 10th, 2008 at 1:06 pm

  • OK, here goes a sexist spiel on my part. Women are traditionally, and perhaps instinctively, nesters. For us to feel like all’s right with the world, there has to be some soft, warm place where we and our kids can curl up at night. Men - they can sleep in a ditch one night and in the woods the next night. Moms have to think ahead for the security of the kids.

    Sure, dads have instincts too, and they care about their kids. Protecting their kids from attack comes naturally. But maybe it’s just as natural for them to subconsciously leave the “nesting” worries to mom.

    That said, I am not worried. I am waiting to see what tomorrow will bring. I have come through plenty of adversity and I have no long-term debt. I have a lot of faith in human nature and ingenuity. And I feel my kids are growing up to be mentally strong enough to handle changes - as long as I am there to anchor them.

    SKL  |  October 10th, 2008 at 1:28 pm

  • What a ironic article! The subtext of this web site is that women can, like men, “have it all.” There should be no difference, so says the site’s subtext, between men and women. So says this site that women “need more” than raising their families.

    What then is the subtext of this article? Perhaps that women are different than man, that they are easily overwelmed and are way overextended in ways big and small, and always by the interia of their own “choices.”

    This artice, juxtaposed with the site on which it appears, underscores the inanity of the working mother meme.

    Sophia  |  October 10th, 2008 at 3:29 pm

  • Yes. Women do worry more. That’s one thing Mel Gibson’s character discovers in the movie, What Women Want, with Helen Hunt.

    I am working on this “worry gene”
    I like the way my husband takes a calm cool approach and I try to learn from him.

    Vera Babayeva  |  October 11th, 2008 at 12:27 am

  • Oh, I worry all the time 24/7. I think I always had a bit of perfectionistic tendencies but it really came out in full forth after having my daughter. I worry about economy so much it almost made me worry that we could not plan for a possible second child. Very silly. I know.

    Bluekarma  |  October 11th, 2008 at 9:34 pm

  • I have to admit that I am *not* the worrier. My husband sure is, though. I guess that is what makes us a good balance :)

    Angella  |  October 12th, 2008 at 12:17 am

  • Like Sophia, I see the irony of this commentary being posted here.

    What cracks me up is that we still haven’t reached the point where we can understand that the tendency to worry - like many other things - is not gender related. It’s “person” and “role” related. It seems reasonable to me that the person tasked with managing the finances would worry more about it.

    As far as men appearing to be calm and cool about things - it’s an ACT. Men are socialized to openly express certain emotions and not others, just as females are. Society gives men the OK to openly express certain emotions such as anger / rage and lust. But - believe you me - they’re experiencing the many other emotions that they’re not openly expressing. People - MEN and women- are emotional, & anyone who says otherwise has been fooled.

    Watch the news to see how many men kill themselves (and sometimes their families) due to job loss and the horrible economy. There have been two cases reported already, and everyone’s expecting more.

    Men aren’t worriers? Men aren’t emotional? Yeah right.

    Uhura  |  October 12th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

  • Also - Vera…since when do we reference movies for facts?

    Uhura  |  October 12th, 2008 at 1:44 pm

  • Based on my observations, I agreed with the question this post asks. Yes, I believe that women worry more.

    Uhura, if you disagree with me, that’s fine. I appreciate your opinion.

    What I would suggest to you is to be more respectful.

    Vera Babayeva  |  October 12th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

  • I think women would advance further and with less pain if they would accept that we ARE different from men. Yes, we are different. Not stupider, not less valuable, but different. If we never come to accept / embrace that, then we will continue to miss opportunities to capitalize on our unique strength and develop truly productive relationships with both males and females.

    SKL  |  October 13th, 2008 at 11:52 am

  • Yes, I’m the worrier in our family. And it’s a good thing because my husband doesn’t. For example, he forgot that the tuxes needed to be returned today before noon.

    Rona  |  October 13th, 2008 at 10:32 pm

  • There are few things in this world that I hate more than the little, teeny, tiny boxes that stereotypes force people into.

    Women are different from men. Why? Because we have different reproductive funcitons. That’s it. Any other consideration (personality, thought-processes, parenting-style, or other) I will take on an individual basis. I expect not to be lumped into anyone’s generalizations about the way “women are.”

    Wisely or not, I’m not worried. So there.

    Robyn  |  October 16th, 2008 at 4:06 pm