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Is it Ever Okay to Cry at the Office?

06/24/2015 08:43 EDT | Updated 06/24/2016 05:59 EDT
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In the 1992 film A League of Their Own, Tom Hanks' character, a coach, responds to a female player who started to cry almost uncontrollably when she couldn't handle the criticism, yelling: "There's No Crying In Baseball!! THERE'S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!!! My coach called me a crying piece of pig sh*t and that's when my parents drove all the way from Michigan!"

So my question is 23 years later, is it OK to cry in business?

It is never OK for your coach to be yelling at you to the point of humiliation especially in a public setting but is it OK if we are stressed, if we make mistakes, if we are human, to act human?

Is there crying in business?

Well here's something I have learned.... If you are a woman, there is crying.

There's crying in baseball.

There's crying in Crossfit.

There's crying in business. Here's what I have observed:

When men get stressed and angry, they yell. They punch, they throw things, they scream, they grunt, they express themselves through their body. When women get angry and stressed, the keep composure to the best of their ability. They are internal. They say "nothing is wrong" and more often than not they cry. They don't mean to, as I know I don't but at times when I don't expect it a tear just comes to my eyes. I don't want it there, I don't need it there but it's there.

"It is a mode of survival, When you cry, it's a signal you need to address something. Among other things, it may mean you are frustrated, overwhelmed or even just trying to get someone's attention," notes a neuropsychologist at Tampa General Hospital in Florida. Jodi DeLuca, PhD,

On top of that, crying may have a "biochemical purpose," according to Lauren Bylsma, a PhD student at the University of South Florida in Tampa. "It's believed to release stress hormones or toxins from the body," reads a WebMD article referencing Bylsma.

Crying is considered socially acceptable but it can also be down right annoying, so although technically crying is allowed in business it just doesn't look good and no one wants to see it. So if you feel like you have to cry, figure out what's triggering it and figure out how you can change your behaviors and actions so your reaction isn't to cry in front of others, but to rather internally fight it back, essentially make yourself emotionally stronger.

In sales you are only as strong as your last deal and in business you are only as strong as you let others perceive you.

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