We've probably all seen someone cry at work. Some people stare like the person who is crying is an alien, others divert their eyes and pretend not to notice.
Why are we so uncomfortable with basic human emotion? Some jobs want you to be happy and cheerful all the time (ahem, working in retail) but that's just unrealistic. We need to get rid of the stigma surrounding crying at work, and here's why.
You basically live there.
Most people spend a minimum of 40 hours a week at work, probably more time than they spend anywhere else.
We poop at work, eat at work and form real friendships with the people we work with. So why can't we cry at work? Plus, the line between work and home life is blurring; people bring work home all the time. If we bring work home, we bring stuff from our home life to work and our emotions come along.
You're on the phone constantly.
Fifteen years ago, not many people had cell phones. If they did, it was before texting existed and you couldn't see what your significant other was up to on social media.
Now, you can be in the middle of your workday having a swell time and all the sudden you get a text your boyfriend was seen with that girl you were always suspicious about. You confront him immediately and it turns into a huge ordeal, leaving you in tears. If this happened before we had cell phones, you'd have to wait until you got home to pick a fight.
Crying is a biological human function, the same as sweating or going to the bathroom. Everyone does it.
Contrary to popular belief, there's no “good” or “bad” reason to cry. Crying because you're going through a difficult breakup is just as valid as crying because you broke the fax machine.
When I get yelled at by my manager for not looking friendly enough (yes, this happened IRL), I don't cry but my face gets really red. I can't help it. It's just what my body does. Crying is the same thing.
Crying doesn't make you weak.
Our society has perpetuated the belief men crying makes them feminine and weak. If we continually associate crying with being feminine and being feminine with being weak, then women will keep making less than men and being less likely to succeed in the office.
Men cry just like women do. If a male politician wipes a few tears away during an emotional speech, no one thinks he is less “politician-y.” He's just a person.
Crying relieves stress.
If you're super upset about something, it's scientifically proven holding your emotions in is really bad for you. Wouldn't you rather just take a moment, let it out and feel better? Rather than holding in all your feelings until you explode? Sometimes you just need to sit and have a good cry, whether you're at work, in your car, at home or shopping. It happens. You're not any less awesome because of it.
So let it out, and move on with your day! A good cry is important, no matter where you are.