Here come those tears.
February 22, 2013 4:56 PM   Subscribe

I have to have a relationship talk tonight with a new person in my life. It's going to be stressful but I think it's going to be okay. How do I not cry? I have a tendency to get choked up and cry during certain types of discussions where I feel vulnerable. (It even happens at work, but that's another AskMe.) What do I do? Should I just issue a warning before we talk?
posted by summer sock to Human Relations (10 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It is 100% okay and human to cry when having a relationship talk. The best thing to do is let yourself respond honestly, organically, and truly to whatever you're discussing, and not worry about it. If this person is right for you (platonically, romantically, whatever) they will not judge you for it.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 4:59 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

"Be warned, I'm probably going to cry. But that's because this is really important to me. Here goes..."
posted by dayintoday at 5:01 PM on February 22, 2013 [7 favorites]

Having a mantra (or three) you can repeat to yourself to calm down might help. Ideally it's something simple that conveys the thrust of your end of the discussion, or something that truly validates your feelings/position. When you start to feel flustered or vulnerable you can repeat it to yourself until you settle back down. If you choose something super-specific to the discussion you need to be having, it can also help you keep things on-track and not get distracted or derailed.

Being prepared with a hankie or some paper snot rags would be a good idea too.
posted by carsonb at 5:06 PM on February 22, 2013

Can you try to cry before the talk until you are out of tears? Go on YouTube and spend a few hours watching homecomings of soldiers to their kids...
posted by cairdeas at 5:07 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Crying really is O.K. It's you, it's real. Just be honest and be yourself.
posted by fueling depth at 5:19 PM on February 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

some people get very uncomfortable around someone else who is crying - they assume that something is horribly wrong and the tears needs to be stopped. The result is that they feel either uncomfortably guilty, or focused on the need to "fix" the crying or overwhelmed and ready to bolt from the room.

Since I'm a crier at times, I try to let them know that tears mean that I'm talking about emotional stuff but we don't need to stop the conversation just because I'm start to cry. In fact, I really DON'T want it to stop because this is important and needs to be said.

Also be prepared to say if things are getting too intense and need to take a moment and cry things out a little. Something like "Whoa. This is getting hard. I need a minute. Would you be willing to just sit hear with me for a minute until I'm ready to talk again." (The thing is not just to give yourself a break but also to let the other person know what you are hoping they will do - for me at least, this is too complicated a thought to come up with in the moment but if I'm prepared, then it comes out better.
posted by metahawk at 5:23 PM on February 22, 2013 [4 favorites]

Crying isn't OK if you're concerned it will look like a play for sympathy and you don't want that.

Pinch your thumbnail down on the hokku point, it's a nerve junction on the back of your hand, at the base of your other thumb almost down to the wrist. That usually dries 'em up quick.
posted by zadcat at 5:34 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

I think metahawk has it--explain beforehand. People can overreact to crying and assume that it means EMOTIONAL DISASTER. Some people may even see it as an attempt to manipulate. Just tell them what to expect and what it means for you, personally, to be crying (I think "I have a tendency to get choked up and cry during certain types of discussions" is a perfectly fine way to phrase it--maybe emphasize that it has nothing to do with them or with anything they've done.)

If you want to try not to cry, that's fine too--taking things slow and taking occasional breaks for deep breaths will probably help--but I think it's very difficult to keep oneself from crying in a way that doesn't make it obvious that that's what you're doing, so it's better to explain just in case.
posted by fermion at 5:43 PM on February 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Take the time you need to have this talk. If you feel yourself getting muddled, take the time to clear your thoughts. If you feel yourself getting close to tears, allow yourself time to calm down. Giving yourself time will likely make the talk more amenable to understanding each other, and, will help you stay calm.
posted by Milau at 6:05 PM on February 22, 2013

I'm with metahawk and fermion: forewarn.

I have a friend who cries very easily. When she's happy, when she's sad, and worst, when she's angry. We were having a very heated discussion at work, she was really getting into it with our boss, and started crying. Without breaking stride, she said "I am crying because I am angry. These aren't tears of sorrow or anxiety, they are tears of anger and you must not misunderstand that." It was super effective. Maybe you can explain beforehand what it is about this kind of conversation that makes you cry and what level of distress it indicates, so the other person isn't knocked off track or put in a position to respond inappropriately.
posted by looli at 7:26 PM on February 22, 2013 [11 favorites]

« Older Arggghhh   |   Sell or rent? Estate question. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.