Sasha Answers: I cry at work
Hi Sasha, My problem isn't with a person, it's with myself. I've turned into the "girl who cries at work".
The truth is, I'm a very emotional person, and I know that. I also don't feel like I am someone with low self-esteem issues, so I don't know if that is it. When I am faced with confrontation or anything emotional anywhere, I find my first gut instinct is to cry, and once I feel that instinct, the tears start flowing and there is no way that I can make them stop. I have now cried in front of my boss a few times, and while he is a very understanding man, he has recently told me that it is something I have to work on. I have tried ways of thinking of how to fix this problem on my own and it's just not working. I don't want to be this person anymore. Any help would be greatly appreciated Sasha. –LJ
I’ve totally cried at work and I bet you LJ, the majority of people reading this right now have done so as well.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with being emotional; the way I see it, the majority of my life is spent at work and if someone hits me where it hurts, those feelings are real no matter where I’m standing. In my opinion, weakness and tears aren’t synonymous and f-ck, if it’s okay for Obama to shed a few on the job then it’s okay for me too.
I think there’s a fine line when it comes to what you are actually crying about. If it’s a heart-warming cry over an accomplishment or some sort of unforeseen personal tragedy then I really see nothing wrong with that. In fact, many studies prove that it can strengthen the bond with your colleagues making for a better work environment. I mean, at the end of the day don’t you want to work with people who are real and have empathy?
Now where things start to get inappropriate is if those tears stem from anger, stress or frustration. I get that it’s hard to contain the waterworks when you feel like you’ve been treated unjustly, but you gotta keep your game tight. I’m not saying you can never ever do it – sh-t happens - but it can’t be something you do more than once a year.
You do not want to be tapped as the office crybaby. Not only will your colleagues and your boss not take you seriously, but respect for you will go right out the window. You know that big corner office? Well that ain’t happening if you everyone thinks you’re an unstable mess. The other thing is, crying because you don't like the way things are going is not only unprofessional but it’s majorly annoying to work with.
The good thing here is that you see that this is a problem that it needs remedying. Good for you. You need to figure out why this has become your go-to response for everything in your life. Is it pity? Empathy? A little hug to make things better? It’s time to pull up your big girl pants and figure your sh-t out. To get you started I've found two great reads that will hopefully give you some answers and solutions: here and here.
Thanks for writing in and keep your life and style questions coming at me at firstname.lastname@example.org