Crying At Work, The Joy Of Browsing Cookbooks

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Should crying at work be socially acceptable? We find out why some say that looking down on this behavior is sexist. On Food Friday, we talk about what makes a good cookbook and hear from our listeners about their go-to resources in the kitchen.

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  • Crying At Work Is Considered Unprofessional By Most, Psychologist Says

    You can cry if you want to, but maybe not at work.

    Stacey Nye, a clinical professor and director of the Psychology Clinic at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, said it’s not unusual for someone to tear up or feel so overwhelmed at work that he or she cries. But it’s perceived as unprofessional in most workplaces.

    “If you’re someone who’s crying regularly at work, that’s seen as unprofessional in general,” she said.

    Backed up by a recent survey, those sentiments are shared with 32 percent of workers who say crying at work is never OK.

    The survey, commissioned by the staffing firm Accountemps, asked about 1,000 U.S. office workers and 2,200 senior executives in more than 20 metropolitan areas about emotions in the workplace.

    That same survey found that 45 percent of respondents said they have cried at work. More than one-third said crying is acceptable occasionally. However, constantly crying might get in the way of career advancement. Executives surveyed were more likely to agree with that statement.


    Those who opposed crying at work agreed that others might perceive the crier as weak or immature.

    Feeling scared, angry, overwhelmed or frustrated can lead to waterworks, Nye said, which depending on the situation, can be cathartic or embarrassing for the employee.

    Nye said most people say they feel worse after they cry at work, which she related to feeling unprofessional or as if they’ve lost control.

    She advised that anyone who feels as though they might cry to take a breath or excuse themselves and go someplace private, such as the bathroom. She said deep breathing and mindfulness might help, but it’s important to practice those methods ahead of time.

    “You can’t just expect that if you feel like crying and the first time ever you do deep breathing that it might help,” she said.

    Nye said employees who do end up crying at work shouldn’t apologize. Instead she suggests they focus on their work without drawing attention to themselves.

    Coworkers who see an employee crying should approach them and offer assistance, Nye said, but give them space if they say they don’t need anything.

    Nye said one of the problems with crying at work is that it can lead to awkward situations, because coworkers feel they have to soothe someone who’s crying.

    “It becomes an environment that’s not very professional,” she said.

  • Should Crying At Work Be Okay?

    In a survey of 700 people, 41 percent of women said they cried at work, while only 9 percent of men said they did. We talk to a guest making the case that crying at work should be socially acceptable. She says it’s sexist to look down at people who cry at work.

  • Food Friday: What Makes A Great Cookbook?

    Chances are that you have a favorite cookbook. On Food Friday, we find out what makes a cookbook stand out from the crowd, and we want to hear about your go-to resources in the kitchen.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Host
  • Bill Martens Producer
  • Amanda Magnus Producer
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Stacey Nye Guest
  • Olga Khazan Guest
  • Anna Thomas Bates Guest