What Are the Best Tricks to Control Crying in Public?

Everyone cries, but it's also good to control when, how. and where. (Image: frugo/123rf)
Everyone cries, but it's also good to control when, how. and where. (Image: frugo/123rf)

Crying is a perfectly natural behavior for all human beings. On a biological level, crying is the body’s way to release pent-up emotion and to come to terms with loss, change, or emotional pain.

In fact, on average, women shed tears 47 times a year, while men cry only 7 times a year.

Remember the song Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.? This powerful and humbling song reminded us that crying is something everyone does, “… sometimes…”

This story’s agenda is not to encourage you to suppress your emotional tears—which would not be healthy in the long run. It is about helping you to be empowered to manage your emotions when in a public setting—where you simply don’t wish to be tearful.

When in public, singlasses can make you feel less self- conscious (Image:rhea/flickr)

When in public, sunglasses can make you feel less self- conscious about your red, watery eyes. (Image: rhea/flickr)

For example, if you are upset at work and feel like crying, you can learn some practical tips to help suppress your emotion at that uncomfortable time. Then once home, you can release your tears in a private, safe, and comfortable setting.

Learning how to manage emotions is a good life skill, and you will feel more empowered through learning these skills.

Everyone has felt like crying at work or in public (Image:DateRight/Youtube Screenshot)

Everyone has felt like crying at work or in public. It’s really hard to suppress that feeling. (Image: DateRight/Youtube Screenshot)

Mental tips:

  • Think through the scenario that may cause you to cry to prepare yourself for the emotions you may encounter.
  • Ask yourself what the underlying cause of your crying is. There may be other emotions that you cannot express, such as frustration or anger, that need to be released.
Sometimes frustration can manifest in tears (Image:Finizio/flickr)

Sometimes frustration can manifest in tears. (Image: Finizio/flickr)

  • Have a “deep and meaningful” with trusted friends or family members. This support will help you to work through and process your emotions so that you can better manage them when in public.

Physical tips: These are some unusual tricks that some people swear by—have any worked for you?

  • Biting your lips.
  • Swallowing hard.
  • Pressing the hard pallet, just behind your teeth, with your tongue.
  • Blocking your nose by holding your nostrils closed.
  • Biting your tongue.
Some peopl bite their lips to cope with strong emotion (Image:Very Quiet/flickr)

Some people bite their lips to cope with strong emotion. (Image: Very Quiet/flickr)

  • Pressing the middle of your palm hard with your thumb.
  • Breathing in slowly and look upwards.
  • Rubbing your forehead firmly in circular motion, just between and above your eyes at the pressure point.
  • Envisioning that the problem is tiny and you are a giant.
  • Wearing sunglasses to shade your eyes. This helps when your feeling self-conscious with your red, watery eyes.
Take yourself away from the stressful situaiton, and give yourself some breathing space, if you can (Image:tafari.anthony/flickr)

Take yourself away, and give yourself some breathing space—if you can. (Image: tafari.anthony/flickr)

Will I be judged if I cry at work? 

There are 2 schools of thought here:

  1. Some people will advise you to excuse yourself if you are emotional in professional situations, as it’s more appropriate to cry at home.
  2. Others will encourage you to allow your feelings to show in the workplace, as it’s your human right, and crying is not an anti-social behavior.

Your good intentions aside, once the flood gates open, sometimes you just can’t stop it, and no tricks will work! If this is the case, don’t be ashamed or judge yourself harshly. Most women do report having cried on the job at some time.

Crying is not a weakness—know this!

It’s important that you know that crying is not a weakness, but the body’s coping mechanism. Everyone needs to cry—it has an important function and many physical benefits.

Tears reminds us that we are alive, we feel, we have a heart, and we are human.


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