How to control your tears when everything makes you cry

Do you cry when you're scared, anxious, uncomfortable or stressed? Get advice on how to get your tear ducts under control from a self-professed 'chronic crier'.
Woman crying How to stop crying all the time (Photo Veer).

My most embarrassing, shameful admission: I cried at work. And no, I wasn’t in my teens. I was an adult, well beyond the age where crying at work is even an option. Even worse, I cried in front of my Cruella de Vil-like boss at the time.

I wish I could say that was the only time in my life where I couldn’t hold back tears when I really should've, but the sad truth is that my eyes water in response to upset in much the same way that Pavlov’s dog drooled over the sound of a dinner bell. For me, it’s something like an unconscious response to stimulation.

Is there a Botox shot for people who spontaneously burst into tears immediately upon having their feelings hurt?

I'm not the only crybaby adult that would like to put away her Kleenex box, however. Another “chronic crier” has outed herself in the pages of O Magazine and is offering up a handful of tips to curb her habit of bursting into tears when under duress.

Self-confessed crier and writer Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s best advice for putting a cork in the flow of emotion came from a cognitive and behavioural psychologist that told her to maintain a neutral facial expression during moments of upset and to literally take a step backwards from the person or situation.

That means observing when your face is taking on that shocked, scrunched-up quality and making it assume a more neutral expression (I think a deep breath or two might help) and creating physical distance as a way of getting much needed private space.


According to Brodesser-Akner the technique, which takes practise, is surprisingly effective. She’s used it in conversations with her husband, colleagues and others with nary a teardrop hitting the floor.

I’m going to give it a shot too. Now if only there was a time travel option, I might be able to correct my office bungle of years ago.

What do you do when you feels tears coming on? Tell us in the comment section below.


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