Many women cry to release stress and sadness. Having a good cry—hence the term—actually serves the same purpose as its counterpart, laughter. Even though women around the globe have been suppressed and silenced, (many still are) and are still finding their individual voices, there are a few facts women need to know about crying:
- How tears are perceived at the workplace
- What tears do to men
A new study from the Weitzmann Institute of Science in Israel asserts that emotional tears in women emit a chemical that reduces male sexual arousal as it lowers testosterone in men. Moreover, I suspect that some men are unnerved by a woman’s tears taking it as a sign of disapproval and lowering his status around her. Most men want to protect, support and be approved by the women they love. Tears are a sign that he is not succeeding which makes him feel a bit ashamed. Note: A woman laughing at a man’s jokes elevates his status and is a big turn on for him.
Therefore, when you need to criticize him, keep it short and simple—this insures that he will listen. Take the intensifiers out of your voice, stick to the point (no more than two minutes or you digress) and don’t use extreme words like, “you never help around the house.”
As for the workplace, women who cry are often perceived as hysterical, unable to handle criticism or that time of the month when “they might be emotionally unstable.” I’m not suggesting that women suppress their feelings or grievances, rather to communicate better by thinking about how their words will be received as opposed to being tuned out. The workplace has its own etiquette similar to a card game of poker.
- To Close the Floodgates:
Manage the small stressors you can do something about because they create a tipping point which overwhelms your emotional balance.
- Move out the mood. When you feel like you are going to lose it, take a walk outside in the light, or do some exercise in a discreet area: calf raises, wall pushups, chair squats, or go up and down the stairs.
- Practice self-hypnosis regularly to activate a calming automatic response—takes three minutes! Begin by breathing to your own natural rhythm. When you are upset, your breathing is more rapid and shallow, so inhale two counts through the nose and exhale four counts through the nose to slow it down. Then imagine your happy place on earth (always go to the same location—beach, mountains, etc.) Use your five senses to experience it—hear the sounds, smell the fragrance, touch, taste and see it in living color. Then give yourself a message you need to hear (the message changes) like, “I am restored to serenity.” Feels like a mini-vacation.
- Make sure to eat balanced meals—often people grab coffee and sugary foods, which create surges in blood sugar and then the crash. Food and mood correlate highly—even the order in which you eat your food. Eat complex carbs to help release serotonin and improve your mood, followed by lean proteins for intellectually-driven tasks at work.
- Bad moods are contagious at work—move away from the colleague or supervisor who is negative. Speak to someone positive and upbeat.
- Listen to criticism—evaluate it with “Is that true?” If it is, ask for suggestions and make plans to implement—you must separate who you are from what you do. If it is not true, then bring documentation and present the facts when you are less stressed.
- Don’t take yourself and everyone else too seriously. Find comic relief.
Originally published on Intent