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How should a person (let's say a guy) react when a woman bursts into tears?<br><br>
More generally, how should one react when confronted with an outburst of emotionalism?<br><br><br><br>
This has happened a couple of times during the past six months in connection with a non-profit group I am involved with.<br><br><br><br>
I attended a Board meeting where the Board chair (a person of color) complained that the Executive Director (a black man) of the group had filed a discrimination complaint against her, and that his wife had sent out one or more e-mails to her friends, her minister, and other people in the community attacking her character. She made some remark about feeling that there was no love or support for her from anyone in the room, burst into tears, announced her resignation, and left the room immediately.<br><br><br><br>
I understand that in previous dealings with the Executive Director she had also burst into tears. Now, this fellow reacted to this by labelling it an "unfair tactic" and adding it to his list of grievances against her.<br><br><br><br>
A second incident occurred during a job interview of a candidate in which I participated. The job involved some administrative functions, which would have included making sure the organization complied with various rules, regulations and other requirements. Prior to the interview, I put the job candidate's name into a search engine and found that she had been given the maximum civil fine by a state regulatory agency for failing to file reports required by law. I called the agency, spoke to the executive director, and found out that she had twice failed to file required reports, that the agency Board had her "case" before it at four different meetings, had twice voted to issue a "show cause" order or notice for her to appear to explain her failure to file, and had twice received the maximun civil fine as a result. When I asked her about this at her interview, she appeared stunned and shocked and said that she had not opened any of the correspondence from the agency because she assumed that it was routine correspondence soliciting her to renew her registration, which she did not want to do. It would be unfair to say that she burst into tears. Rather, she was on the edge of losing her composure, and announced after a few minutes that she could not continue with the interview and walked out.<br><br><br><br>
I am asking about this now because there is yet another problem that has emerged involving some apparent inconsistencies in the financial statements of the group. These are prepared (at least initially) by a bookkeeper, who also is female. I've never met her not talked with her, but am going to have to in the near future. I am not particularly looking forward to this, inasmuch as it may involve some outbursts of emotionalism--whether tears or anger or whatever.<br><br><br><br>
So any advice or pointers or whatever would be appreciated.<br><br><br><br>
I guess my life experience has been such that I have often had people burst out into emotional tirades against me, and my reaction has been just sort of to wait them out--what I guess "Mr. Spock" of Star Trek:TOS would do.<br><br><br><br>
I read somewhere a fellow who advised that if a woman you are in a relationship with cries, you should laugh at her. That's right, laugh in her face. The point of this being to say: "Tears are a form of emotional blackmail; I will not submit to emotional blackmail, not now, not ever."<br><br>
This seems a little harsh to me, but then I've not often been confronted by tears.<br><br><br><br>
All of which brings us back to our original question: How should one react when a woman who bursts into tears?
 

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wrt that fellow's advice: At least he wouldn't have to worry about seeing her cry a second time, because he wouldn't be in the relationship long. I'd hope that said woman could see clearly enough through her tears to kick his ass to to curb, as they say.<br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/no.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":no:"><br><br><br><br>
As far as the anecdotes above, this could have simply been the way these gals responded to stress. Some folks yell or pout or write in their diary, or whatever. That the board member had a habit of this makes me inclined to believe that it was perhaps not as serious as I would've thought reading the first paragraph. That doesn't however necessarily mean that she was being manipulative, just thin skinned.<br><br><br><br>
For your upcoming meeting, I'd say just do your best to explain the problem you're trying to resolve. Using empathetic and reassuring speech may get you further than something more confrontational.
 

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Fascinating read.<br><br><br><br>
I wonder if that fellow that suggested the laughing-in-the-face tactic is currently in a long-term relationship. My guess is not.<br><br><br><br>
I've always reacted as you have. Just waited it out. Depending on the moment, I'll also offer tissues and see if they need a moment or two to compose themselves. Otherwise, I try not to draw much attention to it. I figure that sometimes people can't help but cry because they're just very sensitive. And usually these sensitive people don't like to be seen crying, so drawing attention to it would possibly make them feel worse. I don't see crying as blackmail because if I don't let it negatively affect me, it won't blackmail me into anything. It's just an emotional discharge. And it's not like someone is threatening physical violence or even hurling negative words.<br><br><br><br>
Now, when the wife cries, I pretty much do the same thing, but I also tell her that I'm sorry if I have said something to upset her, then go from there. Of course, if it's totally unrelated to what I've done, I'll console her in every way possible.
 

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I can count on one hand the number of times I can remember crying in front of other people in my adult life. Only one of them had to do with work or something other than relational stress. I assure you, Joe, my tears had nothing to do with wanting to manipulate another person or trying to change the situation through being inconsolable. It's just that something had gotten so frustrating or sad that my emotions spilled over, despite my best efforts to hold them in.<br><br><br><br>
The work situation in which it occurred was when I was a seasonal worker at my city's street department. I was 18 and one of two females in the entire department. I worked circles around the other seasonal workers (all male), and yet I was put on the crew with the full-timer Walt. He was the butt of the entire department's jokes, could hardly drive, and worst of all, the boss told me several days earlier Walt was getting transferred to the parks department because streets didn't want him. The boss hadn't told Walt yet. It was far more stress than I'd anticipated: being underappreciated, fearing for my life whenever I was in the truck Walt drove and keeping a secret from Walt about his job.<br><br><br><br>
Walt was to be transferred on Monday. It was the Friday before. I don't remember what led up to it, but I ended up in the boss's office before we left to go to job sites, crying and asking him not to make me ride in a truck Walt drove. We'd had so many close calls earlier in the week I just couldn't take it anymore, not even for one day. The boss was sympathetic and handed me tissues. He reminded me I would only have to ride with Walt for one more day, and then it would be over. He handled it pretty well. If he'd laughed at me, I would have walked off the job and not come back.
 

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I can relate to those women. Bursting into tears (or ranting and raving) is a normal reaction for people who are emotional. I cry really easily, to the point where I'll be thinking to myself that I'm really overreacting, but I can't stop crying anyway.<br><br><br><br>
It's best to just wait it out. Let the person calm down, or suggest that they schedule the meeting for another time.<br><br><br><br>
Edit: I would never, ever recommend laughing at someone who is crying, unless you know them very well and know that it works for them.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Joe</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
I read somewhere a fellow who advised that if a woman you are in a relationship with cries, you should laugh at her. That's right, laugh in her face. The point of this being to say: "Tears are a form of emotional blackmail; I will not submit to emotional blackmail, not now, not ever."<br><br>
This seems a little harsh to me, but then I've not often been confronted by tears.<br><br><br><br>
All of which brings us back to our original question: How should one react when a woman who bursts into tears?</div>
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Well I have to agree with what you are saying. Tears often are a form of emotional blackmail. In fact I was just discussing with one of my girlfriends how much I dislike women who cry to get what they want. As a woman this has been done both to me and against me; to me, to get what she wanted from me, and against me, to make me look like a ***** so that someone else would give her what she wanted. And to be fair, I have probably done this to people in the past myself. So really, crying definately can be intentional . . .<br><br><br><br>
Anyway, to answer your question, I think the appropriate reaction depends upon the circumstances. If they are professional circumstances as you've described, I personally would just calmly wait it out and not let it affect me in any way nor in the way I treat the person. I don't think you should have to feel guilty about the emotional reactions of another person; you haven't done anything to them personally, so I'd just let them regain some composure and then continue. I don't think I would laugh unless it was blatantly obvious that she was fake-crying.<br><br><br><br>
In a relationship, it's kind of different as it can be more personal. I think that's more of a judgement call between whether she's actually upset or not and whether or not she's trying to do it to get something or guilttrip you.<br><br><br><br>
ETA: I do think that crying is just a normal stress response sometimes, in which case, do the same thing and just wait it out. I've had some bad experiences with manipulative crying women lately that has me somewhat biased right now.
 

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I get teary when I get really emotional and I can't help it. Laughing at someone who's in distress is cruel.
 

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Women have these wacky hormones that sometimes, whether you want to or not, make you cry. And it sucks. And you feel really embarrassed and stupid about it.<br><br>
Don't know how helpful that was...
 

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"I see this is stressful for you. Please take a moment... and regain your composure. We're all human here." Then gently look away in silence for a few seconds with a neutral expression on your face.
 

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Sounds like you did a good job with the job interview. You prevented your company(?) from hiring a candidate that was most likely unfit for the job. That she had trouble dealing with your questions was only natural, and not something you should feel bad about.<br><br><br><br>
As for the upcoming confrontation with the bookkeeper, just bring some tissues if you are worried about being exposed to more "emotionalism". Like others have said, try not to put too much attention to it.
 

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- "I am not particularly looking forward to this, inasmuch as it may involve some outbursts of emotionalism--whether tears or anger or whatever." -<br><br><br><br><br><br>
Women don't have a monopoly on emotional outbursts. Men may not cry but I've seen them get really angry at work. One guy broke his phone more than once because he would bang it on the desk.<br><br>
Crying at work isn't very professional, but it's happened to me twice. It's usually when I'm feeling really angry/hurt/frustrated over not being treated fairly or being taken advantage of. Luckily I don't have 'outbursts'. When the discussion is over I can go somewhere private and cry so as not to embarrass myself.
 

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I'm usually the one crying, and I hate it. It's absolutely involuntary to me, and it's very frustrating having something to say and not being able to say it because my body's emotional response took over and embarrassed me in front of everyone. In the types of situations you described (professional) I would recommend you wait it out and not bring attention to it. I'm sure the women were embarrassed enough as it is.<br><br><br><br>
In private, I'm terrible at comforting people. In fact, I feel terrible admitting this, but I avoid my friends when they're going through emotional situations because a) I have no idea how to comfort people (I generally prefer to be ignored when I'm emotional) and b) if I let myself acknowledge their pain, I'll start crying. So, not much help there.<br><br><br><br>
If I thought someone was crying to manipulative, I would either try to comfort them anyway or ignore them. I wouldn't give in unless I was considering doing so anyway.
 

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I'm for your "Spock" approach. If it's in a professional situation just wait it out, don't say anything. At most ask "would you like a moment?". If it's emotional blackmail and, like it or not, a lot of tears <i>are</i> emotional blackmail, you are not giving power to them. If they are genuine, and I can only speak for myself here, I'd rather the person discreetly pretend they hadn't noticed them. It would be embarassing enough to cry without someone making a fuss over it. If someone caught me crying over work my optimal response would be for them to kindly disregard it and allow me a moment or to to try and obtain some composure. Laughing at someone is every bit as unprofessional as crying.<br><br><br><br>
Relationships though are a whole 'nother ball game.
 

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<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Indian Summer</strong> <a href="/forum/post/0"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br>
Sounds like you did a good job with the job interview. You prevented your company(?) from hiring a candidate that was most likely unfit for the job. That she had trouble dealing with your questions was only natural, and not something you should feel bad about.<br><br><br><br>
As for the upcoming confrontation with the bookkeeper, just bring some tissues if you are worried about being exposed to more "emotionalism". Like others have said, try not to put too much attention to it.</div>
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This sounds like good advice to me. I don't think a woman (or anyone) should be given special consideration due to emotional outbursts.<br><br><br><br>
I am a crier, although I've never displayed this side of myself in the workplace. Currently I have a quite pleasant work environment, but in past jobs when I encountered a very upsetting situation I was able to hold it together until I was alone and could cry by myself. I would have been pretty mortified if I had cried in front of my boss or co-workers, and I certainly wouldn't think doing so would work as a manipulative tool. I doubt the women in your examples were crying as a form of manipulation because, in those situations, crying would only make them look bad.<br><br><br><br>
As for interpersonal relationships, I usually don't hold back when it comes to crying because I'm always my true self with people I'm close to. This used to drive my dad crazy while I was growing up. I would always have to explain to him (through the tears) that just because I was crying didn't mean that I was so upset that I didn't want to continue the conversation. It just meant that I cry easily. He's much better about it now. My bf, being pretty in touch with his feminine side, doesn't have a problem with me crying during our emotional conversations. I just explained early in our relationship that I cry easily. I've heard some women "use" tears as emotional manipulation, but I'm certainly not one of them. Such women do a lot to set back women's rights by decades...
 

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in 10 or so years of management, i've never cried at work. I've had people cry in front of me, and get angry, and sometimes it is manipulation, sometimes not. a good manager can tell the difference and respond accordingly.<br><br><br><br>
I've had a guy burst into tears once. that was interesting.
 

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I have cried three at work, during times of crazy stress, sleep depricavation or just finding out someone close to me had died. Fortunately, all the times were in front of women managers who were understanding (I actually consider them friends). When I am talking to male managers at work about emotional stuff that I am frustrated about, I have to bite back tears sometimes, and it can be challenging, but I don't want to appear unprofesional or too emotional. If I did happen to cry, I would love a response like yours froggy!<br><br><br><br>
In my relationships, I do cry a lot. I just have a hard time keeping it together when it's something upseting, and I know that occasionally hormones are very much to blame. At other times, it's either cry or get really angry. I prefer to cry. My poor BF doesn't like it when I cry. It makes him uncomfortable, especially if it's about work. He doesn't see that as something to get that upset about. Thing is though, I might not even be that upset, but I'm still crying. Heck, I've had commercials move me to tears. It's really not that hard sometimes.<br><br><br><br>
I do want to say that I have never used tears as emotional blackmail. It's just that I can't help it!
 

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*joins the huge group of women who cry a lot*<br><br><br><br>
hahaha. yes. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
As others have said, I do not think it's often a manipulative tactic. I cry when I am upset or very tired or overly stressed out or, of course, those stupid hormones! :p<br><br><br><br>
I have been laughed at and spitefully yelled at when I have cried, because occasionally some guys seem to find it threatening - they go all defensive and lash out. Needless to say it made me feel worse because in addition to the original upset I felt misunderstood and unloved! So any guys reading this please don't go shouting at your female friends and significant others when they cry!! More often than not it's nothing earth-shattering, we just need to get something out of our system and then we'll be ok.<br><br><br><br>
I don't usually feel embarassed when I cry. It's a perfectly honest and natural reaction to the moment and I don't believe it's healthy to supress things that need to come out. Especially if I'm upset for a very real reason. I've never been one to subscribe to the "crying shows weakness" thing. :p
 

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I've cried at work, more than once. My manager saw me once, and she's like "whoa, what's wrong? I wasn't yelling at you, I didn't want you to get in trouble," and such. She was more worried about me than anything. Then again, I've known this woman my entire life.<br><br><br><br>
I cry a lot though, and I cried a lot through school. I'm not really sure what to do about it. I try and make the person crying feel better, give them a hug if that's what they need, or try to calm them down if they're panicking. Honestly, sometimes you just have to let the person cry it out. But talking and being supportive are the best things to do.
 

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if a woman shows anger or cries in a work situation, she's an emotional basket case... a ***** or unstable. if a man shows anger, he's a tough boss.
 
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