At work: to cry or not to cry?

I was watching Saving Hope where the Chief of Surgeon had lost a patient because another patient was so greedy to get ahead and placing the reputation of her hospital at risk to save another. Her other patient died and left a broken teenager, left with a broken life. The scene continued with another doctor approaching her of his situation while not emotionally ready yet to resolve her experience still, she was met with another emotionally charged situation. You just can’t get a break.


Yes, this is a drama series. A fictional life dramatize to exaggerate our real lives. Is it? An exaggeration? Truthfully, I think our real lives has more drama than what we see in TV. At least in TV, we can predict the next scene because we’ve been introduced to characters that we know their predictable behaviours. In our own real lives, however, we can’t predict the “what if’s.”


The scene continued with another drama, an intern just quit to be a doctor. So, what other worst thing can happen? The scene ended with her being emotionally vulnerable. Could you really avoid to be emotional at work? Is it forbidden? Is this a weakness? Who said so?!


I was moved to start Avant-garde because of this: people tend to avoid the truth. We hide from the reality that we, as humans, are so vulnerable yet we avoid to accept that truth.


We learned to wear a mask yet we yearn to be who we want to be. Because of fear. We are so damned scared that the world will judge us. We are so afraid that we will not be accepted or  valued but belittled, embarrassed and avoided. For what? For nothing! Until we accept to move towards the truth, we will always be feeling undervalued.


Why is it being judged by others is so important when we already judged ourselves that we are worthless? How can you lead when you can’t even command yourself to your greatness? How can you ask for the truth when you are lying to yourself all the time? How can you see change when you can’t even try to make a change? How do you think people would believe you when you don’t even believe in yourself?


So, I ask you now…to cry or not to cry at work?


Comments (22)

  1. Krystle Cook - Reply

    February 21, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    I would try to refrain from crying at work if possible. I’d probably go to a private place if I just had to.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 24, 2015 at 5:21 pm

      Thank you Krystle for sharing.

      I was reading about Brene Brown’s Daring Greatly and I thought about shame from what you shared.

  2. Marquita Herald - Reply

    February 19, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    I’ve managed project groups, employees, multiple departments, you name it, during the course of my career and I have to be honest and say that I would not dream of crying at work, and for that matter I’d view someone who does as being unable to manage their emotions. Are there ever exceptions, nothing in life is black and white – everyone I worked with was in tears the morning after 9/11. But if we’re talking about day-to-day operations, the harsh reality is if you want to play with the big boys, you have to suck it up and behave professionally. Can you imagine Bill Gates or even Hillary Clinton having a teary eyed meltdown?

    Now of course a lot of this depends on the individual’s motivation for working. If a job is – well just a job – then that’s going to be pretty obvious to upper management and they’d be less likely to be judgmental of someone who lost control and cried. But for anyone who has ambition toward advancement they need to learn to manage their emotions. Stuff happens, those who are able to deal with it are seen as being more resilient and able to handle business even in a crisis.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Thank you for your perspective Marquita. I would love for Bill Gates and Hillary Clinton to show tears for what matters and for what they are passionate about in their work.

  3. Lenie - Reply

    February 18, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    When my dad passed away, anytime anyone was nice to me at work, I would start to cry. This carried on for several weeks and I finally started telling people, DON’T be nice to me – just carry on as normal. It really didn’t bother me what people thought, I was just fed up with crying.6

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 19, 2015 at 7:15 pm

      Such a courageous act to say:”I am tired of crying!”

  4. Patricia Weber - Reply

    February 18, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    Mahal I usually do my best if I am going to cry, to cry privately. But sometimes, whether so emotionally moved because of something lovely or something sad (like in the examples you have) I really just go with it. I guess – I have little fear. Lovely post.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 18, 2015 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you for your honesty Patricia about fear. Yes, we ALL have them.

      Yet, when does tear become our point of power to humanize our professional world?

  5. Donna Janke - Reply

    February 18, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    That’s an interesting question. Like Catarina, I think it depends on what you do and the situation. It’s not healthy that so many workplaces expect people be emotionless, but sometimes a mask is necessary to get a job done. When I was working in the business world, I did cry from time to time but usually in private. If I reached a point where I was near tears often, it was a sign that the stress had become too much and I needed to change something.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 18, 2015 at 7:03 pm

      Is it really stress Donna? You are right though that we arrive to that point that we are bursting with high emotion yet we continue to manage it to maintain the professionalism. When does professionalism become a requirement for being emotionless?

  6. Erica M - Reply

    February 18, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I used to cry quite often growing up and into my very early 20s and I used to get reprimanded for it. I rarely cry now. On the one hand, it is important to have the courage to be truthful in any moment. On the other hand, you do have to keep in mind in a professional world that your actions create an impression that can further your career or stall it. Having said that, working in life or death situations should elicit emotion. And everybody has an emotional day from time to time.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 18, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      You are right, Erica, this is the reality in our lives. When can we alter reality then to show the truth of the matter even when it powerfully asked us to shed a tear?

  7. Catarina - Reply

    February 18, 2015 at 9:53 am

    Depends on what you do and the situation. Have throughout my life been having meetings with top leaders all over the world. You don’t start crying when you have a meeting with a head of state. Mind you, it would not have been the end of the world if I did because I’m a woman. But if a man started crying in such a meeting it would work against him. That’s life, unfortunately.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 18, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Fortunately, life tells us also that emotions does not know gender nor position of power.

  8. Jacqueline Gum - Reply

    February 18, 2015 at 6:56 am

    I’m in the same camp as Ken…why is it so important what your work mates think? Of course, I wouldn’t recommend crying as a daily thing…a little like crying wolf. But if the emotion is honest, whyt not be honest in revealing it?

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 18, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Brene Brown emphasized vulnerability is honouring our emotions. Yes, I agree that crying makes us human yet we often mask the true embodiment sometimes of our emotions even through crying.

  9. Meredith @ The Palette Muse - Reply

    February 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    You are so right, real life often does hold more drama than a TV show! I cry at work all the time, but it’s OK because I work at home and my kids are used to it. 🙂

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      So right! Well, even at home, do you really allow yourself to cry? Should you?

  10. Phoenicia - Reply

    February 17, 2015 at 11:59 am

    I have cried at work for personal and work reasons. I felt a little embarrassed at the time but soon got over it!

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 17, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      Such strength in your honesty Phoenicia.

  11. Ken Dowell - Reply

    February 17, 2015 at 12:05 am

    If your answer is not to cry at work, you are looking at it from the perspective of what others will think. Maybe crying at work then is liberating, an expression of your emotion and feelings, rather than of the image you want to project.

    • Mahal Hudson - Reply

      February 17, 2015 at 6:10 pm

      Great pointing out that it is a perspective Ken. I am taking that your perspective as vulnerability is a strength. Thank you!

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