When It's OK To Cry At The Office

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 06/29/2015 | 01:15 PM EDT

Experts say all is fair in tears and work

While it may seem absurd to cry on the job, some workplace experts say all is fair in tears and work.

“More than ever, workplaces strive for emotional intelligence and authenticity from their leaders,” says Michelle McQuaid, workplace trainer and author of “Your Strengths Blueprint: How to Be Engaged, Energized, and Happy at Work.”

“Crying invokes a natural empathy and desire to help others. But like any extreme expression of emotion, it needs to be used sparingly, or else you’ll risk losing confidence and trust from co-workers.”

McQuaid and other experts share with the New York Post when it’s OK to let the water works go when at the office. Take notes.

When showing you really care about a project. When you put in a lot of time and effort into a particular project, sometimes you find yourself somewhat emotionally invested. McQuaid says when the emotions are genuine and appropriate, it can do wonders when selling yourself and your project. Sometimes we can find that we do it naturally, for example when your voice begins to tremble or waver when discussing something you’re very passionate about.

When you’re going through a tough time. If a loved one is sick or has died, don’t be afraid to cry...it’s a natural emotion. In fact, your boss or supervisor would expect such a reaction. Don’t get caught in the unhealthy habit of not sharing such tough moments with them. And you certainly don’t want to come to the workplace emotionally troubled and not publicizing why. Brief your boss on what’s going on at home, experts say. Just don’t overdo it: you and your spouse getting into a heated argument is not grounds for sharing nor is it a reason to be boo-hooing at your desk.

When everyone else is upset. In the case of a presentation or discussion focused on something highly emotive, it’s OK to show emotions--particularly when everyone is collectively sad. Experts say it’s especially important to show emotions during such times because you don’t want to be the only one not doing so. If so, you’ll come off as unemotional or apathetic. “Acknowledging something is sad with a comment or a facial expression goes a long way toward showing you’re a team player,” according to the Post.

Please not, however, that while there are appropriate times to cry at the office, there are plenty of reasons not to such as when you’re angry, being criticized or when you’re tired. Save those outbursts for the bathroom.

(Photo: Image Source/Corbis)

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