Simple Secrets Deal with Embarrassing Crying at Work

Crying at Work is Normal

Crying is a Reaction to Stress. We all have cried at work at one point or another. Crying or breaking down at work happens all the time because of the amount of stress and pressure working moms undergo.

Work or your colleagues can be overwhelming sometimes and you may feel the need to cry or breakdown. You need to stop beating yourselves up for crying as it is a totally valid, honest reaction to stress and work pressure.

It is especially very common to cry on your first day at work because everything is new and you are not used to the new work environment. No one should make you weak or embarrassed because you broke down at work in front of your colleagues or boss, especially on your first day at work.

Many moms have reported that they often felt vulnerable, weak, and unconfident after breaking down at work in front of colleagues. But crying is not something to be embarrassed about. It is your body’s way of processing stress. It does not mean that you are sick or that you are weak. It does not mean that you are being unprofessional either.

Further everyone cry for their own personal reasons. Breaking down, even in front of your co-workers or manager is ok and you should not feel bad about it. It may not be seen as professional, but everyone cries so you should be too bothered by it.

Read: How to Get a Positive Performance Review

How to Avoid Embarrassing Crying at Work 

Crying at work, especially breaking down in front of your colleagues or boss can feel embarrassing. You may become the talk of the office for a while and some of your colleagues may perceive you as a weak person which can further affect your performance at work.

As such you may find it important to be able to manage your crying at work to avoid feeling embarrassed by it. Do the following things to avoid an embarrassing episode of crying at work.

1. Find an Excluded Place from Colleagues to Cry

If you feel tearing up at work, find a secluded place to break down into as soon as possible.  Whenever you feel that you are overwhelmed by emotions and might break down, it is recommended to do it in private. No one will notice then that you are crying.

Find an empty office or washrooms or toilet from where you can cry privately without attracting the attention of other people in the office. Crying in privacy gives you time to process what you are feeling before getting ready to confront or share the issue with other people.  

Also crying or breaking down in private is one way to avoid feeling vulnerable or embarrassed from crying at work in front of your colleagues or employer. If you often cry a lot or daily at work, you need to establish a common safe place to cry that you can go to every time you feel like crying.

2. Avoid/Excuse Yourself from Triggering Work Situations

Getting yourself away from the situation or trigger will help manage the feelings and avoid having to cry altogether. If you are in front of people and feel overwhelmed, you should excuse yourself and go for a break or to the toilet.

Breaking down in front of your coworkers, especially on your first day of work might be too embarrassing for you so the best thing is to excuse yourself and process your emotions elsewhere. You can take a bathroom break or talk a walk or talk to a friend, which will ease and help you relax from the overwhelming emotions.

Being away from triggering people and situations is hence important in managing to cry at work, especially in front of your boss. It is especially important if this happens daily or often in the office.

3. Do not Justify or Explain Your Tears to Colleagues 

In case you break down in front of a co-worker or manager, especially on your first day at work, try not to justify yourself. You should not feel the need to explain to your coworkers why you are crying. Some employees can be really snoopy but you should not feel compelled to explain your emotions and the reasons behind them to your colleagues.

What you can do if you cry often at work is avoid oversharing your personal issues and keep it at a bare minimum with people to avoid exposing yourself and feeling vulnerable. By being assertive, you will save yourself from the awkwardness that comes after crying. It is one way of recovering your esteem and ego later.  

You do not owe your coworkers an explanation for your tears, even if you broke down in front of them. Thank them for being concerned and leave it at that. It will help you avoid feeling embarrassed about crying later.

Never bring up a crying incident unless you are questioned about it. Do your job and disregard the crying events. Be punctual, professional, and impressive.

4. Adopt Healthy Ways of Managing Negative Emotions

The best thing you can do at this point is to let your frustration out in a healthy way. Then, you will need to learn healthier ways of managing overwhelming emotions.

If you are feeling too much tension and stress, you can learn and adopt other ways of managing your emotions by adopting a strategy that works best for that situation. Some of the things you can do include taking deep breaths, focusing on an abstract object, etc.  

5. Have a Support System

Having a support system is very important for your mental status. Your support system can include your family, partner, friends, and those colleagues you can trust. They are the people you can share with about how you are feeling and they will help you process these emotions without breaking down at work.  

If you are feeling too much pressure and stress, develop the habit of sharing your feelings with these people instead of bottling them down. If you keep too much to yourself you will break down at some point and this may lead you to cry in front of your colleagues or manager.

Also, find a personal mentors you could talk to. The best way to gain more control over negative emotions is to meet with a mental health professional and pinpoint what your triggers are and how you can eliminate some of your stress. Tears come from powerful emotions, and there’s nothing wrong or shameful about having and expressing them.

6. Practice Self-Care

Another thing you can do is establish a good self-care routine. Self-care is a way of taking care of your body, mind, and sound and enables you to deal better with managing negative emotions. If you often break down at work, channel your energy positively and enable your body to deal better with these emotions.

Self-care includes eating well-balanced food, having adequate sleep and exercising. Other things include yoga, meditation, and finding a hobby among other things. All these self-care things are a good way of managing your emotions at work without getting overwhelmed.

Read: How to Start a Self Care Routine

7. Learn To Stand Up for Yourself

Identify what is it that triggers your crying at work. If you find yourself crying often a lot, something or someone may be likely the trigger. Many working moms are discriminated against, abused, falsely accused, harassed, or bullied by other colleagues at work, often leading to breaking down at work.

If you are going through any of this, you must learn to stand up for yourself. It is one way you will effectively address your issue of crying also at work. Learning to say no, setting boundaries, and taking a stand are important.  

Compose yourself, gather all evidence supporting your innocence, and challenge the charges against you. By doing so you will feel better about yourself, perform more, and avoid crying at work.

Read: Best Jobs and Careers for Working Moms

Expert Tips on Managing Emotions at Work Meetings

  • Take in a deep breath before you go in for the meeting and concentrate on breathing deeply. Take a deep breath through your nose, out through the mouth. Exhaling is more important than inhaling when you are upset at a meeting. Keep your breath steady, slow, and even and it helps you suppress urges to cry.
  • Prepare for the meeting in advance to avoid breaking down. Practice the meeting conversation and role-play with a supportive friend who can play-act a criticizing superior to help you get desensitized.
  • When you are tearing up at an inappropriate moment at a meeting, just clear your throat. Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth it will help you to prevent yourself from crying.
  • Take some water with you to the meeting. Excuse yourself to take a drink and use the break to compose yourself, and suppress the urge to cry.
  • If you feel tearing up at the meeting, quickly excuse yourself and find a secluded place where you are alone. When you have relaxed, wash your face with cold water and rejoin the meeting.
  • Try not to get caught up in the heat of the moment in the meeting. When you start feeling really emotional just slow down before arguing. It will help avoid breaking down.
  • If a really strong emotion comes up in a meeting, use a mind trick to distance yourself from it. Focus on one object and just describe that object in your head, focus on the little details, the texture, and maybe even what it would taste like. It distracts you and the tears go away. Alternatively, you can count to 10.
  • Practice journaling and putting your thoughts down on paper.
  • Try and “cry out” the issue as much as you can at home. Allow yourself time to think about every little detail, sit with it all, and just cry. It will desensitize you so when a similar event happens again at work it won’t make you cry.

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