Compartmentalization, dear reader, is the ability to mentally and emotionally separate different aspects of your life, so that you may better focus and perform at whatever task is before you.

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A classic example is the ability to compartmentalize work and school separately from say, a personal relationship.  It’s the ability not to let issues in one area transfer into the other area and affect it.

For example, say a woman’s relationship or marriage has being going through a difficult time; practicing compartmentalization is what allows her to temporarily forget about those issues when she is at work – when she knows her full attention needs to be present or else her performance will suffer.

She isn’t dismissing her issues, dear reader, she is simply setting them aside so that she can deal with them at a time or place that is more conducive to solving them.  Compartmentalization can be a good thing, as long as it isn’t taken too far and used to facilitate denial.  For instance, calling her husband during work hours to try to resolve issues will almost certainly not get her the results she wants.  She’ll need to pull her attention away from her work, revisit all the negative emotions and difficulties facing her in her relationship, and then need to quickly shut all of this down again to focus back on her work.  Almost every person would be affected and upset by this, and carry some of that emotion over.


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Compartmentalization, however, allows ordinary people to do this.

It’s easier to keep emotions and issues constrained into boxes, if they are each dealt with separately, on a case-by-case basis, and one prepares herself beforehand emotionally and mentally to be what she needs to be in that situation.

In other words, the person she is required to be at work is usually quite different from the person a woman is required to be in her relationship.  Compartmentalization allows her to be both of these people.


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The tactic is a good one for other reasons as well.  It is good to have many different areas of your life, dear reader, that can bring you happiness.

It’s a crazy morning at home, and your spouse is furious at you. Harried, you slam the car door shut and race off to work where an important task awaits.  Your ability to tune out the situation at home and focus on the job at hand is facilitated by your emotional understanding. It’s a form of emotional intelligence, according to Jeremy Yip, a lecturer and research scholar at Wharton. Compartmentalizing enables a person to identify what is stressing them out and to allow other, unrelated factors in their life to stand on their own merits, Yip says.

A woman who only has a career, to the exclusion of a romantic or social life, or other outside interests runs a much greater risk of unhappiness.  If something goes wrong in her life, she has only one box, so to speak.  The same applies for the woman who has a romantic life, but not much else outside of that.

It is smart, dear reader, to spread the risk so to speak in many different and fulfilling areas.


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