I’m about to say something controversial: I think that it’s alright to cry at work. Sometimes you just need a good cry! I’ve cried in the workplace twice, and the second time was quite recently. I won’t discuss that situation now because it was fairly recent and I’m not in a space where discussing it would be productive (especially since I still work there).
I did recently watch one of my co-workers cry on the job, and she was embarrassed but I thought that she was brave. She just released her feelings right there, allowed herself to let us all know that for her something wasn’t right. She was also able to take a much needed break, and come back rejuvenated and ready to work. Crying is cathartic, and sometimes you just need to release that energy in order to move on. Some will say that you shouldn’t cry at work because it makes others uncomfortable, but you know what? Maybe they do need to be uncomfortable sometimes! Maybe they need to know that you are overwhelmed, or that they crossed a boundary, or that what they said of did affected you. They deserve to witness that emotion and understand that something is happening in that moment that should be addressed at some point.
Now, I know that in all cases crying isn’t right, but in most, I think it’s just fine. If you need to cry, cry! Holding it in only makes you want to cry more. If you want privacy, go to the bathroom. But, I like to let everybody know, because at the very least people will know to leave you alone for the rest of that day. Or maybe they’ll even bring you some chocolate.