How to stop crying in front of people!

crying emoticonecrying emoticone (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to stop crying in front of people!
Crying is a great way to release emotions when you are upset.  There are many people who feel better after a “good cry”.  And it is quite natural to cry when we have suffered a great loss, for example, on the death of someone close to us.  
If you can’t stop crying or have repeated bouts of crying for no obvious reason, it is best to seek help from a doctor or a counselor because that may be a sign of depression.
Even though crying is good for us, there is a time and place for it.  In general, it is best done alone or with very close friends or family. It is usually not a good idea to cry at work.
Unfortunately, a lot of the old prejudices still hold sway and many managers find it really difficult to deal with people who burst into tears.  This is sad and it says something about the limitations of many managers!  But it is still a fact of life.
So what to do when tears threaten at work?  Well if you can take some time out – smile (not easy) and excuse yourself.  Then head for a room with lock on it or somewhere private and not overlooked in the open air– if all else fails head for the washroom.  But treat the washroom with care.  Being found crying in the washroom isn’t the greatest thing for your reputation and it can feed the rumor mill.
Once in your private space, take some long, slow, deep breaths.  Now focus hard on
(i) if the thing making you cry is work related –something positive that happened recently at home or
(ii) if it is home-related – on something positive at work. 
Make your memory really detailed and full of colour. Now make yourself smile and imagine yourself in armor ready to go back there and start again.
If you cannot get out of the room to find a quiet space, still take those long, slow, deep breaths. Take a sip of water if it is available and some people recite a favorite poem to themselves or remember a favorite joke.  All of this works to distract you.  If all else fails try my favorite trick and claim an allergy.  It can account for the wet eyes.
But remember tears are a natural response to some emotions.  And with those who know you well, you should be able to tell them the reason for your tears and they should feel privileged that you are able to cry in front of them.  I hope they realize that for most of us the best medicine for crying is a good old fashioned hug!

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Wendy Mason is a Life and Career Coach.  She helps people have the confidence they need to be successful at work and to change career while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason


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