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Before the next teardrop falls

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in Workplace Communication

It’s a horrible feeling—the sting of hot tears welling up. Here are five ways to rein in runaway emotions before you cry at work:

1. Map out difficult conversations ahead of time. Outline your main points so you stay on topic, without becoming emotional.

2. Excuse yourself, if you sense the tears coming. Lois Frankel, author of Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office, says it’s perfectly acceptable to say, “You can see I’m having strong feelings about this. I’m going to leave for a few minutes to compose myself.”

3. Focus on the content of the conversation, not your feelings. Crying often happens during a review. Susan Picascia, a psychotherapist and business coach, suggests: Instead of saying, “I feel bad because I didn’t do well,” say, “I understand that you’d like me to manage my time more efficiently. Here are the things I can do about it.”

4. Focus on breathing. “This is a skill, and it’s one that you have to practice,” says Picascia.

5. Tell yourself, “It’s not personal.” Your co-workers are, usually, not out to hurt your feelings. They’re just trying to get a job done.

-- Adapted from “The do’s and don’ts of crying at work,” Tara Weiss, Forbes.

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