Is It Acceptable to Cry At Work?


In today's society, crying is generally perceived as a healthy way of venting emotions. However, when it comes to the workplace and professionalism, crying can be viewed negatively by employers and colleagues.

Working can be stressful. What you may not know is that crying at work is not an uncommon activity. Researchers have found that individuals report experiencing more intense grief and depression symptoms in response to work-related loss than they do in response to a loved one's death.

Crying at work, however, can be a gray area for employers and employees alike, especially when faced with such questions as, "How much is too much?" or "When is it acceptable to cry at work?"

Why People Cry at Work?

As much as you try to convince yourself that crying at work is unprofessional, some situations' emotional stress cannot be countered.

These situations can be job loss, separation or divorce, loss of loved ones, depression, and a hard time dealing with the stress of any significant life change.

However, crying is not acceptable all the time. It's totally unacceptable in scenarios like the person is crying to attract attention, to manipulate (in case of facing criticism), or crying only to gain sympathy. These cases, which we can call "fake crying."

How to Handle Someone Crying At Work?

Now, you want to know how to handle someone crying at work all of the time.

  • Ask the person to stay calm & tell him everything will be Okay.
  • Give him/her a tissue.
  • Bring him a glass of water.
  • Understand why the person is crying to deal with the situation effectively
Bear in mind that tactics such as crocodile tears are played every day in the office. So, not all crying cases will be real most of them will be fake. To differentiate the real and fake tears, if the employee is really crying due to a significant reason, he will get embarrassed and try to stop crying immediately once anyone notices his tears.

What are your thoughts about crying in the workplace, and what experiences have you had? Does it offend you, or do you think it is okay to cry at work?