How to Deal With Crying in the Workplace According to Experts
According to a survey carried out in Daniel Goleman’s book Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence; 74% of women have admitted to crying in the office at least once, so why is it such an office taboo?
Compared to only 8% of men surveyed, with all participants stating that waterworks would most likely cost them credibility and reliability in the workplace.
Even the firmest manager should understand that crying is the body’s natural response to stressors. Spending many hours a day in the office, there is a higher chance of receiving bad news about family members or friends can trigger all types of high level emotions, even in a conference room.
Being criticised or judged harshly for crying when it’s entirely warranted, it might be a sign of a toxic work culture. Having a work culture that understands the daily stresses that managers and team members are going through is an indication of a healthy environment. Crying shouldn’t be perceived as a weakness, more of an emotional reaction to life and work.
So, what you should do if you’re feeling the need to cry at work?
If you’re experiencing hardship, give yourself breaks away from your desk
If you’re experiencing hardship or an uncertain time in your life, try to mitigate as many factors as you can where you’ll be susceptible to feeling overwhelmed. If you’ve just had a big breakup or personal crisis with family or friends, see if you can reschedule meetings or phone conferences. Consider taking personal time off for the rest of the day or a longer lunch break depending on the situation’s severity.
Take time away from your immediate surroundings
“For unforeseeable incidents, get comfortable with the phrase ‘I’m upset and need a moment to gather my thoughts.’ Letting yourself take time to be upset is a good coping mechanism and a normal stage of grief or any emotional response. Turning off emotions is not a healthy response to stressful or situations. Rather, learn to manage the time and place to release any adverse emotions, returning to work or the meeting when you can communicate more effectively. Spending sitting at your desk trying to not cry will leave you emotionally drained with little energy for working or constructive activities.
If you are naturally a more sensitive person, prepare for highly charged moments at work
If you’re an emotional person, plan for what you can anticipate such as performance reviews or presentations. If either of these events are looming, practice the discussion and performance ahead of time. One of the most frustrating aspects of being emotionally responsive is that feelings often limits the ability to communicate our thoughts and feelings. The frustration caused by this then creates more upset, producing an upsetting catch 22 situation. Practicing your reactions to different situations will help.