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AIBU to ask how to get angry without crying

(48 Posts)
Griefbacon Mon 18-Jun-18 21:45:55

I posted this in a reply to a feminism thread about examples of men not realising what women face but how can I change it?
I had s work call where I was talked down to, aggressively pushed and tried to excuse myself to collect children and faced real aggression. I get angry and I cry. It’s rage not upset but I hate that I cry. How can I keep the voice steady and not cry (until in private anyway(. Any tips.

missymayhemsmum Mon 18-Jun-18 21:56:45

Shoulders back, stiff upper lip, chin up, plant your feet, and use your deep and authoritative chest voice. I know these body language tricks are cliches but they actually do make it difficult for you to cry and harder for others to intimidate you.

Griefbacon Mon 18-Jun-18 22:17:57

I will likely need to employ them again tomorrow. That wavering voice- urgh

PeonyBlushSuede Mon 18-Jun-18 22:23:07

I will be watching this with interest as I have the same issue.

I get angry and frustrated and the tears come - it's so annoying! I then feel as though any valid point I was trying to make seems irrational due to the tears

Hideandgo Mon 18-Jun-18 22:24:35

I think you need to recognise you’re probably not angry, you’re more likely humiliated and/or frustrated? If you were angry, I don’t think you’d cry, I think you’d fight.

I personally in a situation where I didn’t trust and like my colleagues or clients would never mention anything personal such as collecting children (maybe you didn’t, it wasn’t clear), it puts you on the back foot. I’d also assertively say at the beginning ‘I have another appointment at 3pm so need to finish up by then’ and at 2.50 then say ‘well is there anything else critical we need to discuss in this last 10mins’.

Sorry to hear you’ve such awful people to work with.

sharkirasharkira Mon 18-Jun-18 22:27:48

I do this too, it's very frustrating!

I don't have any answers though sadly. I just can't help it but I hate it, people think I'm upset and want to comfort and console me when I'm actually furious.

Mumteedum Mon 18-Jun-18 22:30:58

It is anger but difficulty in coping with it. I get like this too. Therapist I used to have told me to focus on the issue (in my case they injustice of my ex's behavior and beat the hell out of some cushions for a full minute. Sounds daft but it's good.

Are you an assertive person or a people pleaser? Might need to rethink how you respond to shit behavior towards you. Take your power back.

Greyponcho Mon 18-Jun-18 22:36:52

Have you tried the old MN “do you mean to be so rude?” to stop them from getting to a point where they upset you. Call them out on their behaviour.
Or maybe point out that just because they can’t see a “our staff members deserve to be treated with respect” signs, doesn’t mean it’s not applicable to them!

Whisperingwinds Mon 18-Jun-18 22:40:00

Am an angry crier too and hate that! Am annoyed not sad

namechangedagainII Mon 18-Jun-18 22:40:05

Pinch the top of your nose between your eyes it makes it difficult to form tears it may also help distract you from the crying. Hope that helps

Chapterandverse Mon 18-Jun-18 22:40:16

I had the same today.

Reading with interest.

In my case it was my line manager trying to prove a point which in turn made me look stupid and feel humiliated.

QuiteChic Mon 18-Jun-18 23:09:28

I used to repeat in my head "you will not intimidate me", whilst looking them straight in the eye. It also helped me take my mind off the sting of the conversation with the 'perpetrator'. Make sure that if they are standing up, that you do to and practice controlling your breathing.

snewname Mon 18-Jun-18 23:12:57

I'm normally not backwards in coming forward, but yes on occasion it really annoys me that I end up in tears and probably come across as aggressive, rather than the assertive I want to be. It does depend on the situation though, as I'm actually quite confident.

mellicauli Mon 18-Jun-18 23:20:43

is it just you or are other women treated like this? I always think that it is a good idea for women to build alliances and back each other up in these situations. It's just easier for a 3rd party to step in to remind people what civilised behaviour looks like. If you back each other's ideas up it also makes it more difficult to ignore.

If you are on a call and someone gets aggressive, stand up, you'll sound and feel more authorative.

If it's an internal meeting, you can also make their aggression the reason for ending the call. (Really Simon, there's no need to get over emotional about it. I think we'd be better off discussing it in the follow up meeting tomorrow)

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 18-Jun-18 23:29:52

Let's acknowledge though that crying is actually a very adaptive and healthy way to deal with anger. Punching things and shouting, which men are socialised to do is really unhealthy.

Mumteedum Mon 18-Jun-18 23:33:50

I know what you mean MrsTerry but for me the punching pillows thing was helpful. It was a physical release. It feels empowering rather than helpless.

Casmama Mon 18-Jun-18 23:34:09

I think maybe the crying is a combination of anger and other emotions around frustration and loss of control of the situation.

I wonder if having stronger boundaries and nipping things in the bud well before you get to that stage might make you feel more in control and more able to be assertive without getting upset?

anon99827 Mon 18-Jun-18 23:34:25

Reading with interest. I don't get angry often. If I do I laugh which makes things escalate 😂 or I scream 😂

Badgerthebodger Mon 18-Jun-18 23:38:16

I was bad for this, particularly when faced with unfair critiscism which made me more frustrated because it looked like I was crying over a bit of criticism!

I definitely will call people out now if they’re being aggressive. I stop talking, take some fortifying deep breaths and then interrupt with icy calm, something along the lines of “I’m hearing a lot of anger and aggression and I’m not sure why you are so upset?” They’re on the back foot then and most people aren’t completely vile and will calm down. Or just tell them if they continue to talk to you like that you’ll end the call. Then do.

My shero at work was once faced with an absolute load of sexist crap to her face in a meeting where she was the expert. She smiled, began to gather her things and when the arsehole who’d been ranting about her incompetence questioned what she was doing, she just said, “this meeting is over” and walked out. So calm. And this guy had to chase her down the corridor and apologise because he desperately needed her help. Oh it was good to watch grin

PerfectlyDone Mon 18-Jun-18 23:38:47

Oh gawd, I'm like that too and I hate it - makes me look weak and pathetic when I am actually incandescent with rage!

Pinching the web between thumb and index finger can stop tears coming.
As can pushing your tongue up against the roof of your mouth.
Along with other assertiveness techniques and training.
TED had a fascinating talk about that, I'll see if I can find it.

My problem is then if I concentrate hard on pinching my hand or pushing my tongue up, I forgot what my bloody point was!!
I just cannot win, and I have to have difficult conversations with STBH who is the master of the menacing silence and passive-aggressive put-down... hmm

PerfectlyDone Mon 18-Jun-18 23:40:30

Body language

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 18-Jun-18 23:41:42

Of course Mumteedum

If it works, it works!

Hideandgo Mon 18-Jun-18 23:43:44

Gosh I’ve never encountered any aggression, intimidation or put downs in my professional life that I can think of. I once cried in the toilets because of a stressful private issue but I’m shocked at how many of you have experienced the level of harassment to leave you so angry and upset in work. It’s pure bullying! Is it always men making you feel like this?

LemonysSnicket Mon 18-Jun-18 23:44:23

I do the same. All I can do is visualise myself as something ridiculous like an ice-woman, a fae, a god. And not let them fucking break me.
Ridiculous I know.

Rememory Mon 18-Jun-18 23:44:52

I was thinking of posting the same thread today. I think I need the tears out before I can argue properly. I feel like it's such a weakness for me.

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