IT Pilgrimage

A Journey From IT to Freedom

A Career Girl’s Guide to Not Crying at Work

Posted by IT Pilgrim on July 14, 2008

Every girl who’s spent a significant time in Corporate America knows that the worst possible offense you can commit is to cry at work. Sometimes though …when the planets all align in a certain way, when no one gets you that day … its near on impossible. So here we go, my little guide to not crying at work.

Always look on the upside- Tactic 1
Now, I don’t mean this anything like it sounds. I am not about to sit here and feed anyone some crap about every cloud has a silver lining, or every dog has his day or whatever, ’cause that’s crap. Sometimes, the cards are stacked against you, or your tired, or you don’t feel good, or your boss just told you how much he thinks you suck. Whatever.

My point is this … Look up. I know how dumb that sounds, but it is near-on physiologically impossible to cry when you look up. My warning here though, if you are already at that point where your eyes are a little leaky, they will still leak that one or two tears contained within. However, no new tears will form as long as you are looking up. Its not too subtle when used but I have found that most people look down when they are sad or upset to that level. Looking down makes it worse.

Ever seen a scared or sad dog? Head down to the ground, tail between its legs? Pick its head up, hold out their tail, and their mood changes along with their body position. Newsflash! We are the same. Change your posture, look at the ceiling and the tears will stop!

Change Your Thoughts- Tactic 2
This tactic takes longer, its not a good one if you are already holding your breath to keep from sniffling. This one takes some time, but the main idea is simple, you have to change what you are thinking about. Try to pick something that you are passionate about but not something that will make you angry. There is a trick however, the human mind associates smells and sounds more strongly with emotions that it does words, so try something like a beautiful rose, and be sure to try to call up the smell of it. Whatever you do, don’t replay the ugliness in your mind, that will bring it all right back.

Change Your Environment- Tactic 3
Now, I know as well as anyone a typical scenario. A co-worker says something horrendous about you, or to you while you and your group are sitting around the conference table. You’re tired, you don’t feel good, for some reason it hits you particularly hard today. You are stuck in the corner and cant get out.

Well, you have two options, retaliation or change. This one takes a little preparation, but carry a small bottle of cream, or essential oils, or even just a rose petal in your day planner. Pull it out, take a quick sniff and look up at the ceiling. This is a combo tactic here. Think about nothing but the smell.

If you are not prepared, sometimes I find it works to just think about how the room smells. Analyze the different smells within it. This works best if you managed to sit next to the guy who wears cologne, not the stinky dude, and every group has one.

Get Away- Tactic 4
Sometimes, the only thing you can do is get away. Go somewhere, hide, run away, anything. Just change the scenery. Sneak off to the bathroom, then out of the building. Just find the nearest outside or mall or anything that changes the view for a while. Sometimes as little as 2 minutes is enough.

Well, that is my quick guide to not crying at work. Not only for girls, guys, this can work for you too. I found out that looking up does it for kids. Next time you are around crying kids, get them to look up, its priceless until they figure it out and refuse. Someone please let me know if this was at all helpful, I would appreciate it.

Photo by maxedapurature via Flickr.

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2 Responses to “A Career Girl’s Guide to Not Crying at Work”

  1. Francois said

    I’ve never seen a girl cry at work…

    But I’m a guy and I have. A few times in the bathroom while sending up prayers, and once or twice just wherever I found myself because I couldn’t care. Those were the most helpful. 🙂

  2. IT Pilgrim said

    @Francois, Glad I could help. I use them WAY too often.

    Pilgrim

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