There’s No Crying at Work | Working Mother

There’s No Crying at Work

How to better manage your emotions at work.

Thankfully, there is no "tissue ceiling" when it comes to crying at work—managers of all levels have reported a few tears at the office.

Thankfully, there is no "tissue ceiling" when it comes to crying at work—managers of all levels have reported a few tears at the office.

Photo: iStock

Sure, the workplace has evolved, but views on emotions are still pretty 20th century—and crying in the office remains taboo. Yet women are hardwired to weep more than men. We have six times more of the tear-triggering hormone prolactin, so on average we cry at work four times as often. Anne Kreamer, author of It’s Always Personal: Emotion in the New Workplace, offers ways to keep tears in check.

  • Get to the root of it. Women most often cry at work when they’re angry and feel incapable of expressing it. Communicate these feelings in a productive way, and the tears might flow less.
  • Take a break. If you start to well up, ask for a breather, leave the room and get a glass of water. The physical movement can calm you.
  • De-stress. Activities like knitting, running or meditation outside the office will give you an emotional cushion to absorb the blows you receive inside.
  • Don’t worry about a few tears. People from all levels of management report having cried without detriment to their careers. And compassion makes for better leaders—so offer up a tissue to a crying co-worker.

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