Crying At Work

 

The question is when is it acceptable to cry in the work place?

 

A friend of mine has told me she is just about menopausal and she is having emotional surges like her teenagers. She is crying more frequently, and being very short tempered. While her teenagers are quick to get over their outbursts, she still reels from her own for hours. The crying is the most troublesome and hardest to hide. How many times, does my friend tell me, can she say it’s just allergies? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crying

I have been at meetings when the subject of death is addressed when one in our group has lost a husband, wife or child to disease or suicide. A collective tearing up in these circumstances is totally acceptable. I have noticed however, that many of the men remained stoic. Crying makes people feel uncomfortable, especially in my experience, men people.

 

I have seen co-workers make harsh comments to one another in meetings. Sometimes the recipient of the unkind words is stunned into silence, like a slap. Sometimes another co-worker comes to the defense and it turns into a verbal brawl. I have seen pounding on tables, throwing back chairs, standing up and shouting, throwing papers, ripping charts off walls, and getting red in the face, but I have never seen a man reduced to tears. I am not saying this is good or bad, it is just an interesting observation from my 30 years in the drenches of corporate America.

 

I used to work with a woman who cried frequently at meetings. It was a tough company, we were in sales, and you were expected to exceed your sales goals to keep your job. Men were the bosses and morale was not a consideration. Over the ten years I knew this woman, she cried at meetings when she was criticized, or when she was praised. She also cried at the Christmas party, and when she had too much to drink. In short she was a crier. In the ten years we worked together she maintained her job but she was not advanced, viewed as not able to handle pressure, and not being able to negotiate with difficult people. I heard others throw around the word ‘Drama Queen’ when referring to her. I know many did not want to work with her because she was disruptive with her crying. Crying elicits a need to comfort for many people. It is difficult to concentrate on work if you are busy comforting the crying person.  It is also difficult to ignore a crying person and stay on task. Looking back, I think she may have been PMS, post pregnancy, or peri-menopausal. Her hormones may have been running amok, or it was just part of her personality. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crying_(song)

 

I think we have all had moments when we tear up in frustration or hurt feelings.

Not one condition or reason can be attributed to why a woman cries at work more than a man. I think a host of reasons trigger crying, menopause or hormone changes may just be some of the mix.

 

The conclusion I have reached is that it doesn’t do any one any good including the crier to cry at work. Go to the rest room, or walk outside your building, go to your car or someplace alone. Excuse yourself. Crying appears to be in the same genre as bawdy jokes. They can make some people feel uncomfortable, and give an air of an unprofessional demeanor. Don’t let your career be jeopardized by a few tears. No crying at Work!

What is your opinion?

 

 

 

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One Response

  1. Yes, it is an uncomfortable thing. Sometimes it just can’t be stopped. It really is a mind control issue. You just have to stop thinking about what is making you cry.

    When one of my new massage therapists started working one day, she sat in the front lobby and was crying… It was not professional…apparently she had a break up that day… nevertheless, go cry in your room is what I now think she could have done.. It is embarrassing… I just put my hand on her and prayed for her… trying to comfort her… but it doesn’t belong in the workplace.

    I’ve had many a reason to cry at work, but it is just not professional. I suggest to go in the bathroom, take a break or day off if you can….. but do the emotional work at home. When it is at work, you must put on your professional face and talk yourself out of the negativity or sadness….Keep above the line in your thinking. I’ll be getting to my taxes soon, I’ll let you know if I break my crying rule at work or not…

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