Is It OK to Cry at Work Now?
For years, we’ve heard that crying at work makes us look weak. But some very successful feminists are now saying that a few tears isn’t the end of the world — and in fact, might even help your career.
If you have to cry, Kelly Cutrone famously said, go outside. In fact, the PR maven felt so strongly about the concept, she used it as the title of her 2010 book. What a difference a few years makes.
Today, icons like Tina Fey and Sheryl Sandberg tell us that it’s OK to cry at work — within reason.
In her book Lean In, Sandberg writes that shedding a few genuine tears when you’re deeply moved is far from a career killer — in fact, it might just express your passion and commitment.
“Sharing emotions builds deeper relationships. Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about,” Sandberg says. “Emotion drives both men and women and influences every decision we make. Recognizing the role emotions play and being willing to discuss them makes us better managers, partners, and peers.”
Why the shift?
Meredith Lepore at Levo League suggests that it has to do with companies learning to value emotional intelligence.
Good news for the less stoic among us, as long as we don’t overdo it. Lepore writes:
“We are not condoning crying in job interviews or every day at work, but if you are passionate about a project or are frustrated because work is not getting done and you are naturally moved to tears (don’t force it!), then know that crying at work will not kill your career.”
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Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
Jen Hubley Luckwaldt writes about work-life balance, stress management, and other topics relating to what makes us happy at work. A full-time freelancer, she deals with stress by blurring the lines between life and work to the point where the two spheres are barely separate. The happiest day of her career was when scientists proved that looking at pictures of cute animals makes us more productive.