Thursday, September 9, 2010

What to do when people cry at you

I never know what to do when people begin to cry. I feel helpless. I hold them a little and say 'I'm sorry', though its not my fault, because its all I can think of. I murmur endearments and offer glasses of water. To be honest with you, though I hope I am being some comfort, I wish I was elsewhere.

One day, everyone in the office was crying. I can't remember why. I was the only one who wasn't crying, and I felt insensitive as well as useless, helpless etc. I felt, not to put too fine a point on it, embarrassed and I was ashamed of myself for feeling that way. I don't know why I find emotions 'messy', and sometimes I think I've kept a lid on mine so hard that I've forgotten how to 'feel' properly.

I told a friend about my uselessness in tearful situations once:

'I don't know what to do when people cry at me!' and he said...

Wait for it....

'Give them a tissue.'

Today's pic: getting the hang of the new camera, but still have to read the manual properly.
Today's status: bushed. 13 hour work day.
Acknowledgement: Grant. Sorry, still no bunnies.


  1. Every time someone cries in front of you, shout "20 pieces of chicken!" and then run away. They'll eventually learn not to show emotion in your presence. If that doesn't work, escalate to pepper spray and cattle prods.

  2. I usually feel the same way, but I guess the only thing you can do is just be a shoulder for them to cry on. Nothing you can say can help but sometimes just being their listening is enough to keep them from shooting up their work place with a tech-9 ...great pic, your friend with the tissue advise is very wise

  3. Gorgeous photo!
    OK- here's my perspective as a crier. I'm really embarrassed because I'm crying in front of someone. Yes- give me a tissue, maybe a quick pat on the shoulder, then leave me alone until I can compose myself.
    I don't hold it against people who don't cry. I figure they are stronger than me.
    Of course, if you keep working these long days, you'll be crying soon....

  4. Have you seen that Geico commercial (or do you even get those? They may be an American company only)? A retired military drill sargeant posing as a therapist, listening to some whiny guy complain about his life. Calls him a namby pamby and then throws the box of tissues at him in disgust. At least he did give him a tissue!

    Well, maybe that wouldn't be very nice of you. Maybe you should just listen to some of the nicer people here! :D

  5. Grant: your fantastic practical advice should never be ignored.

    Karl: Oh hell! Is that what my office colleagues are plotting? I'm out of here!

    PAMO: On the very rare occasions I cry, I prefer to do so alone. Of course, that doesn't always happen, and then I feel like you do. Don't give me too much attention! And now you're being sympathetic about my overtime... sob.. sob.. Tell you what, I'll keep those tissues handy!

    Raena: Although it would be awful to do such a thing to someone in real life, it sounds like a darned funny commercial. Chuck me a box of tissues, PAMO predicts it'll be my turn soon! :)

  6. I'm the same way. I just stand there totally speechless and feel terrible because I haven't got a clue what to say or do.

    Perhaps your friend is right, there really isn't anything to say or do other than wait until they get it out of their system and hand them a tissue.