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How do I stop crying when I'm angry?

(44 Posts)
WillPenn Tue 26-Jul-11 11:02:55

Whenever I get really angry with people I just start crying, and I hate it because it means people don't take me seriously. Today I got angry as these officious twits at a library who wouldn't give me access to the place because I didn't have the "correct" documentation - i.e. despite having my passport, drivers licence, work staff ID with photo, the council tax bill I had was from March 2011 and this was "too old"(!!) When they refused me admission, I got angry and then started crying....I'll bet they all thought I was a complete nutter.

This also happens when I'm arguing with DH and it really annoys him - quite rightly so. I just can't stop the tears welling up even if I try to think of something else. Does this happen to anyone else? And has anyone managed to overcome it?

Oh WIllPenn I know exactly how you feel because I'm just the same. ANd nothing works for me either. So I'm going to stay on your thread in the hope that someone else has some good advice.

Flippingebay Tue 26-Jul-11 11:08:35

Oh blimey I'm exactly the same and it drives me mad. I have the same feelings as you that people don't take you seriously and then think you are just being 'silly'

The way I've found to get around it is to be calm and try not to get angry (easier said than done), so rather than flying off the handle I either take a deep breath and try to do it calmly, if I can't do that I walk away, calm down and then go back for round 2 grin

BobbieSox Tue 26-Jul-11 11:10:19

I'm the same too. I wish I could do something about it! So I don't have any advice unfortunately - but I do think, FWIW, that other people don't think you're a nutter, they just recognise it's because you have strong feelings. I hope so anyway...

The only way I cope is by going away, actually having a cry, and then sometimes I can try and come back and have the same conversation a bit less emotionally - although I do never seem to run out of tears, and doesn't really work in situations like your library one!

Sorry, no help at all.

obrigada Tue 26-Jul-11 11:15:43

Same here, tears start the minute my temper is up, I get so annoyed with myself about it, which means the tears fall more, it is so frustrating confused

WillPenn Tue 26-Jul-11 11:19:21

Well I'm glad to know I'm not alone at least! I think maybe walking away and taking some deep breaths might help when arguing with DH, but it is difficult when you are talking to people in officialdom just to walk off as they then will maybe think you are being rude and are even less likely to comply.

coastgirl Tue 26-Jul-11 11:19:42

I've never managed to do anything about it. The very worst thing is that people assume you're crying to get attention when it's the furthest thing possible from your mind! In fact you want to say "stop looking at me!"

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 26-Jul-11 11:26:18

Your emotional response is what it is. What right does anyone have to judge? You might learn how to control the anger, but if once angry you can't control the tears, then you can't control the tears. They're not exactly hurting anyone, are they? If others can't respect that, fuck 'em.

CuddlyNemesis Tue 26-Jul-11 12:50:05

I cry out of frustration and anger as well... I wish I knew how to stop it! Still, it's good to know I'm not alone. smile

obrigada Tue 26-Jul-11 12:57:04

It's not so much what other people think Puppy, it's more frustration at yourself for not being able to stand your ground without bursting into tears!

DoMeDon Tue 26-Jul-11 13:01:30

I used to be like this and hated it. I worked very hard during counselling to work through my supressed anger. I used to have a wobbly feeling inside during confrontation and know I feel normal.

I would say for some of you there may be anger issues from the past you need to work through so they do not bubble up in normal 'angry' situations.

FourThousandHoles Tue 26-Jul-11 13:16:06

me too me too me too

most embarassing at work blush

and it drives dp nuts, I had to explain to him when we first fell out that I wasn't doing it on purpose to make him feel bad hmm

HedleyLamarr Tue 26-Jul-11 14:02:08

It happens to me too. blush Fortunately I don't lose my temper very often.

gotolder Tue 26-Jul-11 14:33:28

I worked with an extremely competent, highly educated woman who was then in her 40s who always cried when she was angry/frustrated with colleagues: she eventually (by reiterating it every time) made people hear her say "Don't look at the tears, listen to my words". It was really hard for her because, of course, she was frustrated with her own physical response as well - but in the end it did work and confrontation became possible.

I know this cannot be the answer in most situations but I learnt to say it too, on many occasions which otherwise could have left me not getting my point acrosssmile.

obrigada Tue 26-Jul-11 14:52:27

Sounds like a thing to try Goto but when I get in that situation it's impossible to even make out what I am trying to say blush, but might be no harm in giving it a try, maybe just keep repeating the phrase till someone understands me grin

LoveBeingAtHomeOnMyOwn Tue 26-Jul-11 14:58:21

Watching with interest as I'm another who does this.

knitknack Tue 26-Jul-11 15:07:14

That's fantastic gotolder, thank you! I'm exactly the same OP, it's SO frustrating isn't it? It sort of takes all your power away, if you see what I mean!

I might get 'don't look at the tears listen to my words' on a laminated sheet and keep them in my desk LOL

Undertone Tue 26-Jul-11 15:08:29

My (now Ex)P used to get angry with me that I cried whenever I became cross with him. He accused me of being manipulative - of 'using tricks' to win an argument.

He was a twat. I am now single. I think tears can make the opposing party feel guilty, which then makes them defensive. Of course they should feel guilty - they made you cry.

People react very badly to tears when actually they're a pretty valid representation of how you are feeling. I mean - if you weren't really upset then you wouldn't be crying, non? Why should you have to suppress a valid emotion? It's another example of making women passive in order to make them fit more easily within a male-dominated operating dogma.

I also hate the fact that women feel they can't cry at work and be taken seriously. I mean - men have irrational emotional responses all the time - shouting, swearing, slamming doors, sulking. At least at my work they do.

obrigada Tue 26-Jul-11 15:12:27

Never looked at it that way before Undertone, you are describing to a tee the men I work with (and worst part is they are my bosses), never heard it described as an "irrational emotional response" though, interesting hmm

superjobee Tue 26-Jul-11 15:22:40

my best friend does this she gets so angry then just bursts into tears as she doesnt know what to do with the anger. her mum is of the school 'girls dont get angry or show emotion' so she was never 'taught' iyswim? luckily she doesnt get angry often and when she does she is usually around ppl who know her well and help settle her and talk her thru it.

my mum on the other hand screams and shouts and gets angry often and whilst im pretty easy going ive been known to really get going then burst into tears either thru shock at someone shouting back at me <how dare they?! wink> or the fact that i dont argue often so it shakes me up sad

no helpful advice im afraid just wanted you to know you're not alone in this smile

MigratingCoconuts Tue 26-Jul-11 15:36:02

oh, me too!

always hated it!!

(its particularly rubbish being a teacher and luckily I've managed to hold it together long enough to not look completely lame in front of a class when i have really and actually lost it)

JeffTracy Tue 26-Jul-11 16:13:17

Must be frustrating as I know I would be a bit hmm if you did it to me. If I felt you were trying to force an issue or win an argument then it would just annoy me - especially if it was over a library card. If not, then I would try to ignore it and (as well said above) listen to the words.

I hate groups of people in certain (judgey?) situations and turn red and sweat profusely. Really horrible. Can't control it (but fortunately does not happen often). So I really sympathise. I guess trying to carry on through it is the only way as it's not something you can control.

iamjustlurking Tue 26-Jul-11 16:16:25

I went on an assertiveness for women many years ago and it covered this.

I also tend to cry when I am angry or frustrated. The suggestion they made was as soon as you felt yourself tear up, state clearly you are crying because you are angry/frustrated take a breath then carry on with your point.

It does help as I think it helps you gain some control back and therefore hold the tears back.

TheSmallClanger Tue 26-Jul-11 16:51:53

I have a vile habit of crying when I feel guilty about things. It helps no-one, and I am bookmarking this for future reference.

I used to be an angry crier, but have got better in recent years. Partly, it just seems to be practice, but I now have an "angry voice" I use which involves me speaking more slowly and lower down my register, which does seem to counteract the teary wibble a lot.

JamieAgain Tue 26-Jul-11 17:16:19

Me too. I find frustration, and especially, unfairness, makes me tear up.

iamjustlurking's point makes good sense - if you can voice your feelings, then that should help.

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