From my longtime academic coaching and editing practice guiding doctoral candidates through the peaks and gullies of completing their dissertations, I have seen how women in doctoral programs can easily become diverted by compassion for others in trouble. Well-meaning decisions and actions may result in calamitous consequences to their goal of a completed dissertation.
Although my experience has been primarily with women, if you are a man reading this, you may recognize some of these scenarios. In these stories (names and identifying details changed for their protection), you will see that tender-hearted consideration at the wrong times dangerously waylaid dissertation progress. If you’re a doctoral candidate writing (or not writing) your dissertation, perhaps these tales will confirm decisions to let no major interruptions complete your dreamed-of doctorate.