Crying at Work – Dealing with the Serial Crier

Andy Porter Andy Porter, Employee Coaching, Employee Relations, Engagement and Satisfaction, HR (& Life!) Advice

I’ve been thinking a bit about crying at work of late. No, I don’t mean I personally have wanted or needed to cry at work but rather, whether and when it’s okay to let the ‘ol water works flow in the office.

This article from Time magazine on the same topic also found its way over to me which was all about how crying at work should be acceptable. Get the tissues ready and prep the shoulder – it’s time to cry!

Now, the woman who gave me this article has had her share of office cries over the years, and I wondered if this was her way of telling me to get in touch with my emotions and loosen up a bit. I mean, crying at work is totally in these days. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, seems to cry if his toast isn’t buttered just right. And of course, if you’re an athlete, crying on the job while thanking God and family after a big win is the way to go. Images-24

Now I’m not devoid of emotion and believe me, I understand that emotions aren’t always easy to control, and if you’ve got things going on in your life, a cry at work every once in awhile isn’t the end of the world. But there’s another type of workplace crier – the serial crier – who I find more challenging.  The serial crier is someone who either a) uses crying to change the direction and tone of a conversation or b) cries so frequently you almost don’t even notice it anymore. Kind of like the boy who cried wolf.  Luckily for you, I’ve come up with a new HR policy for dealing with the serial office crier.

  1. Treat crying in the office the same as sick days. You get a set number of cries per year and when they’re done, they’re done. And no, you cannot carry your unsused cries to the next year.
  2. Have 3 sets of tissues at the ready. For the first cry you get the nice, soft Kleenex tissues, the second cry you get the left over napkins from my lunch, and for the third cry you have to use your sleeve.

Hopefully this will work for you. But, if neither of these two approaches work, then I would suggest just embracing it. Queue up the theme song from Titantic and let ‘er rip yourself!