6 Things To Do If You Cry At Work, And What Not To Do If You Break Into Tears At Your Office

6 Things To Do If You Cry At Work, And What Not To Do If You Break Into Tears At Your Office

Have you ever cried at work? I have. Whether I’ve been running from a hard conversation to the bathroom to literally bursting into waterworks on a conference call, crying at work is one of the most awkward and confusing things to ever happen.


I posted on my Instagram the other day about this exact topic and SOOO many people responded and messaged me that THEIR office bathroom had seen its fair share of tears, or that they had broken down in front of a manager.


A few years ago, I had the WORST breakdown in front of a manager. Not only did I feel like he had been belittling me for weeks, but I was taking his call FROM A CLIENT’S OFFICE. We are on a video conference and all of a sudden, I couldn’t take his words anymore (cue: Taylor Swift’s Mean playing in the background). I broke. Tears welled up in my eyes and I started sobbing so hard I literally just shut the laptop for fear of looking bad in front of the manager. My client probably saw me … but oh well.

I did not handle this particular situation well. Starting to cry while simultaneously hanging up on a manager for fear that he will hear your sobs…ALL while in a customer’s office? I mean, I couldn’t have done much worse. I learned from this experience though. If I’ve cried at work since I’ve daintily walked to a bathroom and let the tissues hear me out, not some person on a video conference. KIDDING! Keep reading and we’ll talk about what to do.


TBH, I totally understand why you might end up crying at work. It’s stressful. You are not trying to be emotional but your work is your livelihood and for some people, your identity. My point is – EVERYONE has probably cried at work. And even if we aren’t talking about it regularly, it’s not something you can’t come back from. In fact, it shouldn’t even a big deal!

Here are 6 Things To Do If You Cry At Work

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Remove Yourself From the Situation

If you find yourself about to or bursting into tears at work, take a moment to pause. In general, if you are upset, removing yourself from the situation is one of the best things you can do.

You can tell whoever is bothering you that you need a moment to clear your head so you can have a productive conversation. Ask if you can revisit the conversation at another time. IMO, it’s totally fine to be frustrated or upset about something at work.

But you shouldn’t have a tough conversation at the office when you are emotional. So take the time and a moment to yourself!

Move To A Non-Crowded Location

In most offices, optics are a massive part of the culture. It’s an unfortunate part of corporate life. If you are always seen crying around the office, it could affect how seriously people take you in the future. I know what are you thinking – “this article was supposed to make me feel better about crying at work the other day”! And it WILL, I promise.

But, it’s important if you are in a tough situation at work, AKA finding yourself in a breakdown or three, that you handle it in the best way.

I mentioned before that I’ve found myself once or twice crying in an office bathroom. Not only did this give me time to clear my head, but I was able to

Stick To The Facts

When do you need to have a tough conversation at the office (and if this is where your tears have come in the past), whether it’s with your manager or with your team, stick to the facts. Don’t start phrases with, “I feel like” or ” I just think that…” The reality is, people will be more receptive to your opinions if you stick with the facts.

This sounds silly but I actually practice hard conversations in advance. I think about the actual facts I want to say and go from there. Let’s say historically you’ve started crying when your manager has given you a performance review.

In the week’s leading up to your performance review, actually, brainstorm what negative things your manager might have to say. How can you react to these conversations with facts? If you disagree – that’s ok, but brainstorm the facts to bring to the forefront of your conversation.

Monitor Your Stress Levels

Are you constantly crying at work? Have you broken down into tears more than once? It’s totally fine if you are, but do what you can to monitor your stress levels. You don’t DESERVE to be in a situation where someone or somebody is making you sad at your job constantly. That’s just sh*t if I do say so myself!!!

Try and identify what makes you constantly up so you handle it head-on. Is it someone? A misunderstanding? A situation? Try writing down the 3-5 things that are bringing you to tears. Focus on how you can handle it, move away from the situation and practice the conversation in advance.

Don’t Apologize: You Care, That’s a Good Thing

If you are breaking into tears at work, don’t immediately apologize. You simply care about your job and your people – and that’s ok! That being said, no useful conversation is going to have while you are in tears.

When you find yourself in this situation, simply say you got upset because you care so much about the job, your career and succeeding at work. Frame your situation as a positive. If you are not doing great at your job right now, say you got upset because you want to do better in the future!

Don’t Stay In A Situation If You Are In Hysterics

If you are working with someone who is insufferable, and there is no one there to help, figure out what is making you cry. How can you remove yourself and block yourself out from that situation?

If you can’t, consider switch roles or even jobs. But I feel almost POSITIVE that you can find a way to handle this situation!

Have you ever cried at work? Comment below!

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6 Things To Do If You Cry At Work, Upset at work, hate your job, hate your boss, what to do if you cry at work, tough job situation, career advice, job advice


Hi, I’m Becky, a 20-something who is just trying to figure out how to adult! Welcome to T20S, a community of millennials just trying to make adulting suck less. This blog brings real advice for 20-somethings in their careers, finance, budgeting and most importantly…SELF LOVE!

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