If there’s one thing I really hate about myself, it’s my tendency to cry when I’m out in public with nowhere to run. If you’re a seasoned public crier like me, you’ve undoubtedly come up with ways to disguise the fact that you’re having an ill-timed emotional breakdown. But if you’ve just stepped aboard the angst train, try one of the following to save yourself a little embarrassment:
1. Put on a pair of sunglasses. Easiest trick in the book. Only the most newbish of public criers would go out without a pair stored in her purse. Wait, but you’re not actually outside? You’re crying in a mall? If you’re concerned about looking like a tool while wearing sunglasses indoors, ask yourself if that’s worse than looking snot-faced in front of total strangers.
2. Duck. First, learn to control your sniffles, otherwise this trick is pointless. After you’ve got the hiccups under the control, hide behind your hair, dig into your purse, bury your face in a book, and if you’re on public transportation, close your eyes, face the window, and pretend to be asleep. If you’re at work, either run to the bathroom or look really busy while typing away at your computer. Just make it look as if you’re preoccupied with something totally mundane, and people won’t notice that you’re in tears.
3. Whip out a book. Here’s a slight elaboration on #2. Chances are, if you’re the type to cry in public, you’re also the type to carry a tragedy-laden book in your bag (or at least one that has a melancholy-looking cover or front title). Take out the book, pretend to start reading, and just let people assume that you’re crying because of the novel’s touching content. As a bonus, actually reading the book (instead of posturing) will distract you from your troubles, so you actually will stop crying.
4. Don’t tell yourself to calm down. As any frequent crier would know, this tends to backfire. Instead, quietly count to ten, mentally pushing away the sadness as you focus on each number. When you’re done, tell yourself that everything will be okay, and you should feel the panic subside a little.
5. Go with it. Forgot your sunglasses and book? No bathroom in sight? Too distraught to coax the angst into submission? Just let loose. Don’t start wailing and pounding the floor, but quietly dab away the tears as they flow freely down your cheeks. This is especially applicable during breakups, when you feel as if no embarrassment can surpass the pain of a broken heart.
Do you ever cry in public?