I don’t cry very often. I’m usually pretty stoic. But have I ever cried at work? Yes. And was it super-embarrassing? Yes, definitely.

Crying at work is kind of humiliating. But sometimes, you just can’t help it. When something really upsetting occurs or you get terrible news, it can happen.

So what should you do if you start to cry or feel like you’re on the verge of tears? Author Brittany Wong offers the following suggestions:

  • Provide an explanation – If you start crying during a meeting or when you’re around other people, they’re going to wonder what’s going on. So provide them with a brief explanation and assure them that you’ll be feeling better shortly. For instance, you could say something like, “I just got some upsetting news. I’m going to step away for a minute, but I’ll be right back.” Or you could say, “I’m getting emotional because this situation makes me so upset. Give me a minute to collect myself.”
  • Go someplace private – Get away from other people, and do whatever you need to do to get your emotions under control. Try taking deep breaths, going outside for a quick walk, having a snack, or quickly calling a friend. Once you’re feeling calmer, the urge to cry will hopefully pass.
  • Give yourself a break – If things are tough at home and you’re feeling really emotional, try to free up some of your time at work. Give yourself a few “mental health breaks” during the day by rescheduling non-essential meetings and phone calls. You’ll feel better, and you’ll probably be more effective and productive.

And remember, if you do cry at work, it doesn’t mean you’re a weak person. It’s a natural reaction to a bad situation. Don’t beat yourself up about it. We’ve all been there.


Wong, B. (2018, March 5). Crying at work happens. Here’s how to handle it, according to experts. HuffPost. Retrieved from: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/is-it-ever-ok-to-cry-at-work-heres-what-experts-think_n_5a99a367e4b0479c025249e0